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Copyright 2000 by aria - All Rights Reserved No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, without expressed written permission from the author and publisher. Sailor Moon characters and images are copyright © 1992 Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha, TOEI Animation. English Language Adaptation © 1995 DiC Entertainment. Published at Aria's Ink - http://www.ariasink.com The story found within this document is not the personal view of the owners or admins of Aria’s Ink. If there are any questions about the story they should be directed to the Author.
February 1998 The morning sun rose over the trees that grew behind the second residence building of UNBC. It shone brightly through the slits of the vertical blinds that hung over the window and came to rest on the lump in the bed. Up until now Serena was sleeping soundly in her cozy little room. That was until the loud banging started on the flimsy door, rattling it loudly in the frame. "Hey it's 8:30! Don't you have a class this morning?" It took a moment before the words registered in her tired mind. "Oh my god I'm late!" Shielding her eyes from the intense light, Serena threw the sheets off the bed and frantically began to search for her clothes, while at the same time doing some rapid calculations to figure out what class it was that she was late for. Jumping into her jeans and throwing on a sweatshirt, Serena ran out of her room and began pounding on her roommate's door. "Hey, Mina! We're late for class!" Satisfied with the muffled moan that she was awake, Serena headed for the fridge to see if anything was salvageable. "There's nothing in there, I already went through it." Lita, one of Serena's other roommates sat at their small table nursing a mug of what looked like sludge. "Head across the hall, they've got coffee." She grinned. "Thank goodness for dorms huh?" Serena held the door open with her foot and leaned across the hall and managed to knock on the door and stuff shoes on her feet at the same time. "Can you make sure Min gets up? We've got class this morning and we're already late."
The door opened and an arm snaked out holding a decanter. "Late again are we?" Said a voice behind the door. "Just shut up and pour will you?" A tall, dark-haired figure in shorts and a T-shirt emerged and obligingly filled the proffered mug. "Thanks, Seiya. You're a lifesaver! I owe you a big one." "Oh really?" Comically wriggling his eyebrows and pursing his lips he leant toward her. "Give me a big wet one then." Laughing she put her hand on his face and shoved him away. "Ugh! Get away!" Turning, she shouted for Mina, "Hey! You up yet?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm ready. Let's go." Mina's small figured shuffled out of the first bedroom door, her long blonde hair in disarray and clothes wrinkled. Serena grabbed her arm and literally dragged her down the hall. "We're late! Later everyone!" And with that the two girls disappeared around a corner. Seiya, still holding the decanter, headed across the hall and sat down next to Lita. "So when do you think those two will realize that it's Saturday?" "I don't think that they will until they get to a locked classroom door. The big question is whether or not they will forgive us for this one. " Laughing, she took a sip out of her mug and then grimaced. "When're you guys going to learn how to make coffee properly? "Hey I haven't had any complaints yet. I think it's got a good kick to it." He took a swig as if to prove his point. He swallowed and started choking; "Maybe I'll cool it a bit with the beans." Lita took a sideways glance at him and whacked him hard on the back and smiled. "Yeah well look who you live with. It's not like they have any taste
anyway." And with that the door swung open. Two other guys walked in, one lanky and blonde while the other was a bit shorter with silvery blond hair. "I think that we resent that, Lita," said Andrew, the lanky one. "As a matter of fact, I know we resent that. Don't we Malachite?" "Yeah whatever." Malachite was already in the kitchen rummaging through the cupboards looking for food. "You got anything edible in here?" "Not until later, feel like coming grocery shopping with us? The more the merrier." Malachite slumped onto the couch and moaned something about wasting away. "So you guys send Sere and Min off to another non-existent class again? When are they coming back? Do you know?" Lita shrugged, "Well, the last time we did this to them they disappeared for about an hour to think up a come back. So they could be back in twenty minutes or two hours from now. It depends on how long it takes them to think of something nasty to do to us." Seiya looked thoughtful; "Could you imagine doing stuff like this last year? They probably never would have spoken to us again. Who would have thought huh?"
" As she turned to talk to him one of the boxes started to topple off the stack. In the second building. Serena walked through the security doors and stood in front of the elevators.. lovingly dubbed "Rez 2". By the way. Ok let's see now..CHAPTER c 1 September 1997 The bright autumn sun glinted off of the multitude of glass panes of the newly designed buildings of UNBC. she thought. up on a hill. golden hair around her face. the elevators are almost always broken down so you'd better get used to using the stairs. "Huh? Sorry. Short black hair. room 303 south. -6- . "I'll get it. tall. and beautiful blue eyes. With the wind swirling her long." "Oh. Behind the main buildings. students and their parents were steadily streaming in and out lugging their meagre belongings into the building." He hopped over the railing and grabbed the box just before it hit the ground. broad shoulders. not too muscular. "You're new around here aren't you?" Serena looked up toward the voice.oops. Serena carried a couple of small boxes up the little hill in front of the dorm. pressed the button and waited. She remembered as she thought back to the map of the school she had studied the night before. I'll remember that. Serena Cole stood in front of the building and took a deep breath. And he was talking to her." Serena looked up at him and studied his features. That should be third floor and down the corridor on the right. yeah. ok. "Uh. Well here it goes." She mumbled annoyingly aware that her face was heating up. "Let me take them for you. saying hi to old friends and meeting new ones. students were shuffling about moving into their dorms rooms. On the stairs behind her was a very good looking guy with glossy black hair and smiling azure eyes.
Well here goes. She had talked to some people who had been off to school and was horrified with some of the stories they came back with about their crazy roommates. There was orientation. Serena desperately hoped she wouldn't return home with stories to rival theirs. Serena stumbled out onto the third floor.s-. Hopefully I won't have to see him again.Wait! Why should I tell you? I'm sure that I can find it myself. She cringed. The window faced the woods. Mina and Raye. Serena dropped her box off on the bed with a dull thud and noted how hard it was. She reached into her pocket and tried to fish out the keys she had gotten no more than thirty minutes ago from the housing office. Well it looks like I have roommates named Lita. thank you. clubs had their tables lined up along the halls of the university trying to recruit members. Inside was a desk. a tiny closet and a shelf above that and not much room for anything else. Next to that was a hallway that led to the numbered doors of the bedrooms and the bathroom. which she noticed had two large mirrors and two sinks as she walked past.. She turned around and made her way up the stairs. This is my room for the next eight months. Turning right she walked down the hall and scanned the doors for the right number. "Well this is it. Serena opened the door and looked in." Cool as ice. And sure enough it was. Serena took back her boxes.7 Chance Encounters "I was just asking what room you were in. I'll have to so something about that. She turned the knob and walked in. On the left was a kitchen and behind the opened door was a closet." he grinned. Hope they're nice. She sighed. ---For the next few days the residence buildings were a buzz with activity." Serena went back to her car and brought up the rest of her things. Three flights of stairs later. On the door was a poster with her name and three others on it. it was very modern and decorated in green tones. He's laughing at me! Argh! "Room 303. Room 4 should be right at the end of the hall.. a bed. students were lined up everywhere trying to change courses or signing up for clubs and not to mention just . A few doors down she finally found 303. like a beautiful tranquil painting which was good since she loved the outdoors. Straight ahead of her was a small living room with a large window.
"No thanks. "That's cool. Which was an amazing feat in itself since her room was even smaller than Serena's.8 Chance Encounters hanging around trading stories of the summer. The rest of us are just from boring old BC." "Well I'm from Calgary. they sat nervously nursing their coffees trying to think of something to talk about. "I'm from Whiterock. "I'm from Vancouver. then disappeared until the evening. Finally. not this instant garbage. The first morning all the girls were together." said Serena." said Raye quietly. And so far things were going well." "I wish I came from somewhere interesting like that. " laughed Serena. They traded hellos and smiles. "I'm from a tiny town up north called Kitimat. said a shy hi and then read magazines in her room. It's got to be the most boring place on earth. Everyone still in their housecoats and pyjamas. She was slim and athletic looking with long black hair. She was incredibly tall and muscular. She and her mother said their hellos and moved in a modest number of boxes. they sat together at the table and were getting to know each other. Later that same day Lita Weston arrived. last to arrive a few days later was Raye Harris. She had curly hair that was a becoming chestnut. So am I. "So where is everyone from?" Lita decided to hazard the first question. Quietly she moved her things in. she and her parents moved in what seemed like their entire house into her dorm room. Slender with flowing blond tresses." "And we could definitely use some provisions. So who's got a car? Asked . We're living with someone from another province. The next to move in after Serena was Mina Stirling. Serena was slowly getting to know her other roommates." "No way. I think we need to find some real coffee." Said Mina. "Anyone for another coffee?" Serena got up and went into the kitchen and grabbed the kettle and the container of instant coffee. Mina shook her head.
almost white. "Especially the tall one. Serena was aware of where their gazes were drifting too and pulled her robe around her a bit tighter." Serena thought back to the encounter at the elevator when she met another . One of them was tall with blonde hair and laughing profusely and the other had blond. "I think I should cover up a little. shoulder length hair and laughing along with the other one. Serena saw that Lita. Putting on her robe she headed out of the bathroom to see what was going on. Serena was the last to get into the shower. "I'm Andrew and this is my roommate Malachite." said Serena. After much confusion in the small bathroom. Serena walked up to the group." He pointed at the silvery blond next to him." said the lanky blonde as he extended his hand. "Oh and here's Serena. "We're going to be getting quite a bit so we'd better take the truck." "Hi. "And I've got a truck. " introduced Lita.9 Chance Encounters Lita." Piped up Raye. Be back in a bit. While toweling off she heard some male voices coming from the living room and decided to go have a look. Mina and Raye were talking to a couple of guys. our other roomie. "Hi nice to meet you both. "Well I've got one. In the hall in front of her." Smiling she shook hands with them both. "Weren't they cute?" asked Lita." "Ok so we'll all get dressed and we'll go. "She's got room four. Everyone nodded and went about getting dressed." And with that she turned and headed to her room to dress. When she came out the boys were gone. everyone managed to get showered and made up. the other guy followed his friend's example. So how's an hour sound?" Lita stood up and looked around at the other girls.
before he saw her. "Yeah. My shoes are in the closet. She towered over Serena. this is Kyle. Her closet was packed full of clothing and on the floor beneath all the hanging clothes the floor was covered with shoes of every type that could be imagined. Serena. I kinda have a thing for shoes." Disgustedly she kicked at her own boring shoes. she walked back out." she shouted down the hall. Serena looked up at the sound of the door opening. Today he was wearing a leather jacket and jeans and he looked like he was ready to hop onto a racing bike. She had set up a sophisticated looking computer system on her desk and on the shelf above it a huge stereo. "Everyone ready?" They all filed out the door. "Yeah but he's a bit tall for my liking. it seemed that the guys had the same idea." he gestured to the redhead in the sweater. Slipping them on." "Thanks Serena." "Yeah. because at the same time the girls came out so did they." Serena looked up at Lita. . "Nice set up. "So they live across the hall huh? This should be interesting. "Anyone wear size 7 shoes?" "Yeah I do." Mina went into Serena's room and looked around. He'd be perfect for you though. She browsed through the shoes until she found a pair of black chucks. "Hi there! Heading out too huh?" She looked behind the first two and asked. Unfortunately. "Go help yourself." said Serena." Serena herself was wearing her favourite pair of Doc Martins. I thought Malachite was kinda cute. Andrew followed Malachite out and then someone that Serena didn't recognize and then she saw a familiar face. she ducked behind Lita and prayed that no one would notice.10 Chance Encounters cute guy. "Yeah they said they were living with some guys named Seiya and Kyle or something. Across the hall." Mina walked to the closet looking for some shoes. Oh no! He lives across the hall! Quickly. "So you must be the other roomies right?" Malachite looked away from Mina long enough to hear what Lita was saying. She'd have to ask her about that. "You certainly have quite a collection of shoes there. Lita was the first one to step forward. Wow! She must have some kind of bank account! Mina thought.
"Nice to see you again. . UNBC was on top of a hill in Prince George and to get into town you needed a vehicle. while Serena tried to sneak back into the room without anyone noticing. He extended his hand. "Not really. "This is Serena. They can help us find them. Serena. "Great." "Oh that's not a problem. Raye's truck was parked in the second row and she led everyone to it. Lita was still chattering away. our forth." Ever helpful. "Well this is it.11 Chance Encounters "and he's Seiya. Busted." Smiling weakly. Mina and Malachite were engrossed in conversation while Raye looked bored and was fiddling with her car keys." Lita caught her as she was opening the door. Sorry guys but I don't have enough room for you all. and we're still not quite sure where they are." Mina said. "according to Malachite here. Lita patted her coat pocket and then pulled her over. My chariot." The girls began to pile into her beat up old Nissan truck." She shook hands with Kyle and looked up at Seiya. "We should really get going before the shops close." Fantastic." she lied." He pointed at Seiya who was smiling and leaning against the doorframe. Let's go then. "Serena? Where are you going? I was introducing you to the guys. "I think I forgot my keys in the room. "Don't worry." They all walked down the stairs and down to the car park. We met when I was moving in. Serena turned around and smiled." Serena shrugged like it was no big deal. I've got mine. looked into her eyes and smiled. she shook his hand and simply nodded hello. this is their third year in Prince George. They all exchanged hellos. "So you two know each other?" Lita was staring at Seiya.
the girls sat together in the front room and talked about everything. surprise. But I bet no one would mind doing a little window shopping. "Did you guys have any place in mind?" Surprise. it didn't last very long. I remember a couple of times she even waited in the parking lot for us while we went out for dinner." Giggling. nothing is worse than a guy who thinks that his mother driving you on a date is cool." "Yeah. We'll go to the mall you can do everything there all at once. "Well. "I went out with this one guy who didn't know how to drive. "Don't worry this is my car. "Try and keep up ok?" Grinning he sped out of the lot. "Needless to say. Later that evening. am I right girls?" "That'd be great!" they all chimed in. "After going deaf from all the shouting on about three occasions. "Ok. well I went out with one who thought a hockey game was a romantic date." said Raye.12 Chance Encounters Seiya walked across to the other row. so whenever we needed to go anywhere he would get his mom to drive us around. Does anyone mind if I go for him?" She looked . The guys looked a little less than enthused." She shuddered. Mina got the popcorn out of the microwave poured it into a bowl and sat down again. He's got a really nice car. The engine came to life and the boys climbed into it." "I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with driving if you went out with Seiya. Serena and Raye sat on their new beanbags on the floor while Lita and Mina sat on the couch." Seiya slid into the front seat and started the car. "Raye you can't let them beat us! Go! Go!" And girls raced off after them. I decided that he was just too romantic for me. we need groceries." said Lita. "Ok then follow me." He put his hand on a jet black Precidia. They had moved on from talking about their families and were now comparing high school and boyfriend horror stories. "Did you get a look at him? And that car? I could definitely go for that.
So what classes are you taking. It's hard to pick a major let alone a minor as well" Nods of agreement came from all around." Slowly one by one they stood up and headed out the door." Mina was already at the door. Then there was a knock on the door before it swept open. "English. Lita looked over at the two of them and smiled. greeted him with a "Hi Malachite!" in unison. Before they even got close. including Serena." Lita leaned back on the couch. It was Malachite. On the second floor of the other building flocks of people were crowding themselves into a small apartment. "Ooooh! That was quick!" They both fell over laughing when Mina blushed.13 Chance Encounters around and everyone shook their heads. not on anyone I've met so far. "I think Malachite is cute. Raye?" "I'm majoring in Wildlife Biology. Serena recognised Andrew and Seiya immediately. Malachite made a beeline over to a crowd in the middle of the room with the girls in tow. His ears went red. "Serena? How about you?" She shook her head. It's suppose to be the last one before classes start. The girls looked at each other and much to Mina's embarrassment." Serena answered with a smile. "So have you two got your eyes on anyone yet? Raye shook her head while Serena thought of leather jackets. but I'm still not sure what to minor in. "That's not a problem. They were in the . I'm doing English too. "Weird. they could feel the bass of the music and hear everyone shouting and laughing. "Anyone up for a party? There's another one tonight over in Rez 1. "Come on guys. You'll get to meet some great people." Raye nudged Serena." Mina was grinning. with a minor in Biological Anthropology. "Nope. And you guys?" "I'm doing History and Political Science.
Seiya looked up and saw her. Raye pulled her down onto the grass." Raye looked desperate to get away from this guy who was trying to entertain her with what looked like a duck walk. but I'm sure that there will be a lot more. What have you been up to? Where did you disappear to? I was going to introduce you to some people. "Where's Lita? I thought she was with you." She looked up at him. Serena and Raye settled in with a group of people and were in the middle of a conversation when Serena felt a tug on her arm. "That was fun huh? We should have gone to more of them. Without a word he headed over.14 Chance Encounters middle of the crowd. Amid the hilarity. Serena laughed at her friend's dismayed look and smiled at Seiya." Lita slid herself in between Serena and Seiya and followed him into the kitchen." he said waving his arm. Seiya was next to her and looked like he wanted to talk. "Sere what's wrong? Didn't you have a good time?" Serena shrugged and made a weak attempt at a smile. thanks." Raye was smiling." he was looking directly at her. "Talk to you later ok?" Before he could say anything Lita appeared next to him and dragged him off to another crowd. "Hi there ladies. "What was it? Some loser come on to you?" Serena just shrugged. "talking to some people. "Raye I'll be back in a sec ok? She nodded ok. after a couple of drinks and meeting a bunch of people. "Did you get a load of that creep who was trying to make me laugh with that duck walk thing? He wouldn't leave me alone!" She looked at Serena. "As a matter of fact I think I should be getting back to her right now. "Yeah? What do you want?" Serena scanned the room for Lita. "Well it looks like we're on our own huh?" And with that they lost themselves in the crowd. A little while later. "Come on I'll introduce you to some people. "Well then what was it?" Serena looked ." "She's over there somewhere. Raye and Serena walked home together a few hours later. apparently telling a very amusing story. Serena looked over at Raye." "Raye and I did quite well on out own.
He annoys me. "Just like I would say no to a date with Brad Pitt." Serena accepted it and sat down." Totally down." Raye nodded. It became a daily routine to wake up. She was blatantly throwing herself at him. She slept a fitful dreamless sleep." Back at their room Raye made her a coffee and poured a little something extra into it. I'm not looking for a relationship." Her tone was totally sarcastic. go to classes and then meet up and hang out. "She practically called all rights to him. Later. She wasn't about to go stealing her friend's guy. if time provided." She jabbed Serena in the ribs with her elbow. "Yeah I can see that." "Thanks. Mina and Malachite got along very well and were doing just about everything together. She'd just have to look for her nonexistent dream guy. She knew what it was like to be cheated on. Serena smiled to herself. "I think I'll drink in my room. Kyle and Raye both . it always helps me. "Come on. "He's ok. "Admit it you think he's cute.15 Chance Encounters down the path and saw Seiya and Lita heading their way. Serena got into bed. ---Over the next few weeks everyone got to know their classes and each other very well. At the same moment Lita came through the door practically flying. How could I do that to my own roommate? Besides. Knowing that he didn't exist and too tired to finish the mug off. "Here it'll help you relax." "Well then why don't you do something about it?" "How can I?" she waved at Lita and Seiya. At least he couldn't break her heart if he didn't exist. Raye saw the look on her face. Serena decided to just let it be." Raye nodded and pulled her up. I'll make you a drink." She shrugged. "You have a thing for Seiya don't you? "Nah. Serena sat at her desk and took a sip of her coffee.
" She put her book in his face and pointed out the passage with her pencil. right down to wrinkled clothes and pencils absently stuck in her hair.16 Chance Encounters seemed to like going off and each do their own thing. Students laden with books and mugs of coffee walked around like zombies. is a noble character?" Kenny pulled his glasses off his face. ." said Sarah who was one of the more attentive students in the class. Serena had never seen so many stressed out people in her entire life. arguments were becoming more frequent and she found herself doing whatever she could to get out of the suite and vent her frustrations. Mina and Serena walked back up to Rez together. Lita. from Shakespeare's Henry plays. People would be walking to class and back without even realizing it or acknowledgement of friends passing by. the group tried to write down and absorb as much as they could from the conversation. Everyone agreed and got up to leave. so you're telling me that the character of Falstaff." Mina looked everything like a tired student. Serena. Although all the girls were now good friends. "He very well could be. when they didn't have papers and labs to do. rubbed his eyes then stuck a leg of his classes into his mouth and started chewing. hardly taking anything in. "I definitely need a break. They would meet at the library and discuss plot lines and ideas discussed so far during the semester. Tempers were short and sleep was little. "Yeah I think I'm all burnt out." They had been at it for three hours now and it was all that she could take. So I'll meet you back tomorrow?" Serena's brain felt like it was going to explode. Between gulps of coffee. Serena and Mina had a few classes together so they decided to pool their brain power and study together with some other people from their class. "I think that's about all I can take for tonight. Andrew and Seiya hung out together as much as they could. "Okay. "He tries to do the right thing in the end.
Seiya and Raye were sitting around watching TV. "You sound like my mother!" Both laughing they walked up the stairs to their suite. Lita. Steve." "Believe me I know." "Have you ever felt that way though? You know all tingly and giggly." Mina couldn't understand it." She looked over to Serena. "I really think that he could be the one." "Nope not that I can remember." Serena shrugged doubting that she ever would." She did a little hop. They walked into their room." Serena smiled." "How do you know? You've never looked at him for more than a split second. "Hello everyone! Trying to wind down?" . Serena was pretty and great to hang out with yet she still didn't have a boyfriend. She'd seen the way guys looked at her and had even seen some approach her but she had never seen her go out on a date or anything. "That's too bad! But that's definitely how I feel with Malachite!" "Good." "Yeah I think that we're doing pretty good. "So how about you? You have your sights on anyone yet? I think I saw Kenny going googoo eyed at you. I always figured I would know I was in love because I would look at the guy and bang! It would feel like I was struck by lightning. "He just makes me all tingly. We've got so much in common it's like we were made for each other." Serena smiled at her friend. Mina frowned and nodded." Mina laughed. But remember to take your time and let things go slowly. Malachite. "I'm happy for you.17 Chance Encounters "So how are you and Malachite getting along? You two look pretty cozy. She found it so strange. "Kenny? Are you kidding? I don't think that he's my type.
"I've got a couple left. Determined to have a good time. Yup this is going to be relaxing alright. got five?" Serena nodded and pulled a five dollar bill out of her coat and handed it to him." "Great. Serena turned to the others. He ran out the door. I've got Bio left and it's a killer. We've got a pizza coming up and we're just waiting on you guys to find out what movies we should get." said Lita. Kicking off her shoes she sat on the bed. She sank into it and the motion alone started to relax her. But . Andrew greeted her with a slap on the back. "Hey thought we lost you." She headed into her room and shut the door. Sere?" Lita was sitting across from Seiya and was handing her a cookie. "I know how ya feel." Raye did not look at all enthused. "We did good on out midterms so we're celebrating. But I think we've got it covered eh Min?" She nodded absently still looking at Malachite. "Be back in a sec. The pizzas are here." Mina all but threw off her coat and shoes and then jumped on the couch with Malachite and Andrew. Plant Bio and Math. "How about you guys?" "I have one left in History. Seiya stretched. put on some sweats and walked back out. just hold on while we get relaxed. "Almost through?" "Yeah I have one left in Renaissance Lit talk about joy. "So how are you midterms coming along. Serena pulled her hair back into a ponytail.18 Chance Encounters Andrew and Malachite looked exceptionally happy. She gave him a withering look and gave him a shot in the arm. I'll just go out for a little while and I'll just relax. Serena walked into the front room and sat down on one of the beanbag chairs that they had bought on one of their latest shopping trips. Serena took off her coat and hung it up in the closet.
hey! Don't have to get defensive!" Andrew easily ducked the blow and laughed. you have to admit that. Raye looked at Serena." "Nah I think we'll stay here and wait for you guys. need my coat. It's a funny movie." Seiya was getting his coat on. "Yeah I bet you'd both get lost without me. some ice cream and a bag of Doritos. "Ok then it's settled." Serena took a swipe at him." said Serena. "Yup I'll come along." And he was out the door." Said Serena. I bet he's wondering if I have an old beater. just get us a couple Slurpees. rolled her eyes and smiled." Everyone seemed to agree. Serena looked at the couch. "Here's some money. "Anyone wanna come with?" Raye nodded. we're relaxing here. but can anyone recommend a good one?" Andrew and Malachite looked at each other and said. Comedy it is. "I think I'll go and get the snacks. "Austin Powers!" Everyone just groaned. She had her coat and shoes on in a flash. "Be right back. "How about you two? There's room if you want to come along. see ya in a bit. Serena walked over to a little red Sunfire . "Come on you guys you know you like it. "Hey. She put on her coat. That means no one mentions anything about work.19 Chance Encounters enough about that." The five of them filed out the door and headed for the parking lot." "Ok then. "So which car's yours?" asked Seiya." Andrew got up as well. something funny. "Anyone up for a ride?" Immediately Lita was on her feet. So what movies do you think we should get? "Please." Malachite was smiling. Serena saw him looking at the old beat up trucks and cars. " I really need a good laugh.
" She took the corner and sped down the dark road. How could I do that to her? She's my friend. You should see how happy she is to see him there everyday. he's there everyday. really. Grinning triumphantly she looked at him. Come on Sere. He makes any excuse to go across the hall and see you. "Which way do I turn?" They reached the mouth of the entrance to the university. This is your car?" Serena pulled out her keys with exaggerated movements and opened the door. Reaching in she started the engine.20 Chance Encounters and ran her hand over the hood. "Lita is the one with the thing for Seiya. "This is my baby." "Lita grabs him that's why." "You're delusional." She looked into his eyes and saw surprise dawn and then amusement." "And that's another reason. Well it's either love or you two should just kill each other and get it over with. "Right. Or haven't you noticed?" "I think you're the one who hasn't noticed. "I think she thinks that he's over there to see her. "You don't believe me. "Why don't you two just kiss and get it over with?" "What are you talking about?" Serena was focusing on the road. Andrew was in the back seat and was looking at Serena in the rear-view mirror. Or haven't you seen the way he looks at you." Laughing he shook his head. it's so obvious that you two are crazy about each other." Without another thought they were off. "Believe me now?" She." Raye was looking over at her from the front passenger seat. Lita has her heart set on him. "Catch ya later." "Well you'd better do something before Lita gets hurt cuz it's obvious that . "No. Raye and Andrew climbed in. You should have." "How come I never see him then? Now which way?" "Straight over.
With some ingenuity. "Mind if Kyle joins us? No one objected. Raye followed suit. Then Andrew had a brainwave." ---Seiya's black Precidia was speeding along the road toward the nearest Blockbuster. so Kyle came in dragging the guys' couch while Andrew pushed on the other end. Andrew looked comfortable on the table so Serena decided to start the movie.21 Chance Encounters he doesn't want her." "Well it is midterm time. "Same here. study for midterms. Lita jumped on it after Seiya sat down on the corner. go to classes. She reached over turned on the radio and settled back in her seat and tried to enjoy the rest of the ride. you know the usual. they were all back at the girls' room and were getting settled to watch the movie. Lita went and opened it. Andrew sat on the dining table while Lita sat on a chair. "So what have to been up to today?" "Nothing much. Kyle sat in between them and Serena leaned up against the end. We have so much in common. Opposite Lita." About two minutes later there was a kick at the door. Lita was chattering away. . Outside were Andrew and Kyle. The light turned green and he sped off. "Be right back. Serena grabbed a blanket out of her room and settled on the floor with a bean bag. they managed to fit it into the small room." He stopped at a red light and looked at her." He laughed. Lita blushed. Seiya perched backwards on a chair and as usual Mina and Malachite took over the couch. ---About twenty minutes later. "How about you?" Grinning Lita answered. so there isn't much else to do. She decided that she wouldn't say anything more for the rest of the ride.
leaning over the books and then leaning back in her chair. But before she could get to it there was a knock on the door. Mina and Raye were out of their rooms and in the hall as well. when they had more time. That was up until the credits started to roll. "Guess what?" She was so excited she was practically bouncing up and down. on her desk. By the time she was done her room was looking and smelling like something out of the Arabian Nights. She changed positions from having the books in her lap. sadly dragging their couch behind them in an attempt to gain sympathy. Serena went to her room and sat at her desk and turned on her stereo and listened to the radio. Unfortunately for them it didn't work. well tidy up the way that they do. "Ok now all of you out! We've got some more studying to do. They would deal with that in the morning. This meant moving the mess from the living room to the kitchen. trying to get facts straight in her mind. So rather than freak out on the boys. That done the girls began to retire to their rooms one by one. hurt puppy look but left anyway. the girls had all seen it so many times.22 Chance Encounters "Everyone ready?" They all nodded and Serena pressed play on the remote. ." They gave the little. Lita stood up and stretched. She sat back and tried to lose herself in the misadventures of Austin Powers. that they could recite every single line in the movie themselves. They thought that this was hilarious. she picked up her notebook and flipped through. "No way!" shouted Mina. Serena picked up her books and decided that she would be more comfortable on the bed. Lita was standing there grinning from ear to ear. Putting her book down she opened the door. Satisfied that she had achieved the right ambience. the girls just let them have their fun. Reaching over to the windowsill she grabbed bunch of candles and her incense burner and lit them all one by one. "I think Seiya is going to ask me out!" Before she could say anything else. The boys sat and cheered and between mouthfuls of food shouted out the lines along with the hero. With them gone the girls started to tidy up. Of course this didn't matter. thanks to the boys.
I'm ok I just tired. Really I am. So it all works out for everyone. "You'll have to tell us how it works out for you two. you can always come to me. making use of the punching bag and playing squash definitely released a lot of tension. I always seem to get the losers. but she found that sometimes going alone was more therapeutic. And Lita is deliriously happy. I'll be back in a little while. Lita wasn't even hearing her." She blew out the candles and put out the incense. You know if you need anyone to talk to." "You don't look it. "Sere." They stopped talking and nodded hi to some people who lived on their floor as they walked by. She was truly happy for her roommate. Once in a while she would head down with one of the other girls. I need to clear my head." She was definitely bouncing now. Serena waved and sprinted to the gym. She floated down the hall and into her room. One of Serena's favourite things was to go to the gym. Want me to tag along?" Raye and Serena were squash partners and played a lot of the time. "I think I'll go to the gym for a while. "No thanks.23 Chance Encounters "How do you know?" Raye was looking worriedly at Serena. I said great and he said 'I'll give you a call sometime'. Serena grabbed her cross trainers and put them on. Plus it was a good excuse to get out of the suite. Serena continued walking. are you ok?" Raye had followed her out into the hall. Don't be silly. . "Did he say something?" "Yup! He said that he would love to take me out and show me around town sometime. "Of course I am. Serena found that lifting weights." She leaned into the closet and tossed a pair of shoes over her shoulder. "I'm happy for her. alright?" Raye stopped at the front doors. "This is so great!" "That's fantastic for you!" Serena was smiling. It wouldn't have worked out for us anyways.
Talk about a disaster. . Serena didn't feel like going back to Rez yet. Serena walked past them and out the doors that opened up next to the Canfor Theatre. There must a performance tonight. hoping that he would notice her. Women surrounded him on all angles. whoever was playing the piano was superb. His fingers touched hers when he took it. Darien ran his hands through his midnight black hair and took a deep breath. He quickly signed his name in it and handed it back to her. Darien sighed and signed a book handed to him by another trembling female. pushing and shoving trying to get as close as they could to him. Closing her eyes. She thanked him profusely and disappeared in the crowd. Darien had gotten use to their admiring glances and attempts to get him to notice them over the years. Shrugging. tall. broad-shouldered man before her turned and smiled.24 Chance Encounters Unfortunately a lot of people had the same idea. Across from the doors to the theatre were some cushy looking benches. He smiled kindly. dark haired man. The truth was he didn't have any time for anyone at the moment and besides that he wasn't interested in a relationship. A couple of students were sitting on them studying. but barely noticed her. dressed in an expensive Armani suit. She shivered with pleasure and smiled as beautifully as she could. He looked around at the pushing women. "Mind if I sit?" They absently shook their heads and returned to their books. A handsome. she put her head on her knees and let the music carry her away. but he did find the whole thing amusing. accepting the book. ---A small redhead boldly pushed her way past several women and approached the tuxedo clad figure in the middle of the crowd. She slowed when she heard the beautiful music drifting out from it. Tonight the weight room was completely filled and downstairs the squash courts were all taken. He thought about how his last one ended and shook his head. The concert had lasted three hours and now all Darien le Conte wanted to do was relax. "Monsieur le Conte! Can you sign this for me please?" The gorgeous. She looked around for a place to sit. She stopped for a moment and listened. Serena sat down and brought her legs up to her chest.
pushed through the crowd of women, came up behind him and patted him on the back. "Darien! That was magnifique!" He pushed up his wire rimmed glasses and looked at his old friend's tired face. "Glad it's over, non?" He smiled at his friend Nephlite Noyez. "Oui Nephlite, I just want to sleep for a month now." "Ha! You know we're scheduled for another concert tomorrow and then it's off to Europe again." He knew he didn't have to remind him. Darien kept on top of everything. "The things I have to do." He shook his head in mock exasperation. Nephlite knew as well as he did that he loved nothing more than performing and sharing his gift with others. Nephlite laughed. "Come on! The sooner we're done this, the sooner you can get some sleep." Darien signed the last of the autographs while Nephlite and the rest of Darien's crew gathered up their things and packed up some equipment and stored it for the following night. Darien walked over and joined in to help them do it. He never could just sit by while the others were busy. Darien didn't feel it was fair at all for him to go and sleep while his friends slaved away. He took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves and helped move the equipment. Some time later, they finished up and walked out. Darien was the last to leave after making sure that everything was in order for the next performance. He took one last look, turned off the lights and walked out the front doors of the theatre, locking the doors behind him. He turned and was about to walk away when he saw her. At first he didn't know what to make of it, but he decided to investigate the small body curled up alone on the bench. He had seen the students roaming around the university like zombies and instantly knew that it was exam time. Darien thought back to his own days at university and remembered what it was like. He shook his head smiling to himself. Clearly this was a tired student taking a break from studying. Still, it wasn't safe for a young
woman to be out alone at night. Darien approached her and gently tapped on her shoulder. He didn't want to startle her. He had to tap several times before she responded. She must be so drained! She looked incredibly tired and looked at him with big blue eyes. For some reason tears were drying on her cheeks. Darien suddenly had an inexplicable urge to wipe them away with his finger tips. He quickly halted that thought, sure that he would alarm her. Wisps of her sun-kissed hair had escaped from her ponytail and softly framed her heart shaped face. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. A bolt of lightning went through him when their eyes made contact. Darien decided then and there that he was going to do whatever it took to keep her in his life. He smiled warmly at her. "Allô." ---Serena must have fallen asleep, because the next thing she knew was someone was tapping on her shoulder. "Allô? Miss? Are you ok?" Serena heard a deep male voice talking to her. She looked up and saw a silhouette in front of her. The bright light behind him made it impossible for Serena to see his face. She shielded her eyes from the light and squinted trying to make out who it was. "Oh, je m'excuse." He kneeled down so their faces were even. Serena now saw a handsome raven-haired man kneeling in front of her with a concerned look on his face. Her jaw dropped as she stared at him. He was magnificent! A lock of ebony hair tumbled onto his forehead. He quickly brushed it out of the way. He had gorgeous features, his cheeks looked almost as though they were chiselled out of the smooth stone that made his skin, but what got her the most were his eyes. They were an unreal shade of blue. They seemed to pierce straight into her. Wow! A jolt went through her when their eyes met. Serena shivered and taking in his face again, saw that he was smiling at her. Quickly she regained her senses
and shook her head absently. "I'm fine, thank you. I must have fallen asleep." "Why do you cry?" He smiled at her kindly. Cry? She brushed at her cheeks and found that he was right. She quickly wiped the tears away. "Oh. It's nothing. I'm alright." "It is not right for someone so beautiful to cry." Again, he instinctively raised his hand to wipe the tears away but stopped. Instead he brought it back and reached into his pocket, pulling out a silk handkerchief. Darien handed it to her. "Here." She noticed his words were heavily accented and he was wearing an elegant black tux. He must be one of the musicians. "Thank you. You're French aren't you?" She carefully wiped her eyes. He grinned. She might be upset about something but she was still perceptive. "Oui." "What are you doing in Prince George?" Duh! Why did she just ask such a stupid question? He didn't seem to notice. "I was playing here tonight as part of a tour." Her eyes widened. He was the one who had been playing. "I heard you. You were wonderful." "Merci, that is very nice of you." He studied her face again. "But what has you so troubled?" "Just my exams. I'm very tired of them. You must know what it's like to be stressed out." She rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands. "Bien sur. Of course, but you must not let it get to you like that, it is not good for you." He extended his hand. "Join me for coffee?" She looked at his hand and then back at his face. It was a very tempting offer. She definitely needed some more time away from studying. And
Serena had to admit he intrigued her as well. But she didn't even know the guy. She shook her head. "No, thanks. I have to get back to my studying." She went to stand up. "Thank god I'm at the end of them." "S'il vous plait? Please, it will be nice to drink and relax for a little bit." He extended his hand further. "It will help me relax too." Serena thought about it for a bit and agreed. "Ok, but only if we stay on campus." Why not? Going back to her books wasn't appealing at the moment and he looked like a pleasant diversion. She took his hand and felt a frisson of pleasure go through her. Serena looked at him as he easily pulled her onto her feet. He was unexpectedly strong. "Merci beaucoup." "You speak French?" He looked at her incredulously. "I took French classes in high school so I speak a little. It's not very good though, it's been along time since I've spoken it so you'll have to bear with me." Serena stopped when she realised she was babbling idiotically. Serena stop being so stupid! He smiled warmly at her, "I'm sure it is wonderful." He looked around. "So where can we go?" "The Wintergarden should be open still. It's this way." She led him down some stairs to the little bistro at the Wintergarden. She led him to the counter and called her friend over and ordered two coffees. There were some students milling around looking like they were trying to find something to divert their attention from their studying. A bunch more were sitting at the tables madly flipping through books with their forgotten food cooling in front of them. "This is where most of the students hang out. It's a bit quiet now but that's because of exams." The waitress' eyes flicked over to Darien several times as she handed Serena the coffees. Serena couldn't blame her, she couldn't keep her own eyes off of him either. "Thanks, Lisa." Chagrined, Serena realised that she didn't have a cent on her since she was suppose to be going to the gym. She uselessly patted the sides of her sweats. They didn't have any pockets. Without a thought, Darien handed the girl the money
and smiled at Serena. Serena smiled back. "Thanks. Want to sit over there?" She pointed at some of the taller tables. He nodded. They wandered over and sat down. Darien pulled out her chair for her. Serena smiled at him and stepped up into the seat. "Thanks." Darien looked around and was aware of the strange looks people were giving him. He smiled. "People are looking at us. I guess I am a little over dressed, non?" He began pulling off his tie and jacket. In a flash he had them off and hanging on the back of his chair. "Do I look more like a student now?" Serena looked at him. No, he didn't look like a student he looked more like a gorgeous apparition. Serena didn't think there was anything he could do to distract attention from his looks. He sat straight and tall in his chair and had a very dignified air about him that commanded attention. He looked absolutely regal. She watched as he undid to top button of his shirt with his long fingers and wondered what he looked like with it off. She cleared her throat and took a sip of the bitter brew. Serena didn't like where her mind was straying and tried to focus on the conversation. "Don't worry about them. If you'll look at them, they aren't exactly the best dressed people on campus." She nodded pointedly at a guy with green hair and a pierced nose who was staring at them. He laughed. She was a nice person. "So what is your name? I am Darien le Conte." For some reason she'd forgotten that she didn't even know his name. "I'm Serena Cole." She stuck her hand out sideways for him to shake but he turned it palm down and kissed it instead. "Enchanté" Darien let his lips linger on her silky skin. He inhaled her fresh scent then looked into her eyes. God, she was beautiful. Serena blushed and gently disengaged her hand from his. She busied herself with dumping sugar into her cup and stirring. Mechanically, she lifted her coffee and sipped nervously. That was new. She'd never had anyone kiss her hand before. She looked at him. What was she doing
he took an experimental sip. Now at the age of twenty six he toured all over the world sharing his gift. Serena laughed. For the next few hours they talked about everything. Here try this. "So tell me about yourself. She told him about how she grew up in a small town and how after high school she wasn't sure what she wanted to do so she ended up in Indonesia studying orangutans in their natural environment for two years. He told her about all the places he'd been to and the interesting things he's seen on his travels. His face was twisted up like it was the vilest thing he had ever tasted. She took another sip and looked at him." Surprising herself." He looked over at her smiling face and grinned." Serena did feel more relaxed now. "See? You are relaxing already. dumped it into the cloudy liquid and stirred it for him. It was rare to find anyone as . but with him it was like they knew each other forever. Usually she kept quiet around people she just met. Obligingly. They discussed their views on everything and found that they felt the same way about most things.30 Chance Encounters having coffee with some man she didn't even know? Her thoughts were sidetracked when she heard him trying the coffee. She stopped him before he emptied the entire container of cream into it. "A bit better. Darien started dumping cream into it. science. Darien was on cloud nine. He was a fountain of information. and news. she filled a tablespoon with sugar. displaying gleaming white teeth. They then moved onto other topics." Serena was amazed at how relaxed she was with him. She looked up from her cup. "It takes a while to get use to. politics. He happily discovered she was as well. He had put his cup down. And now she started university to study English and Biological Anthropology. "This coffee is terrible!" he choked. Grimacing. He told her about his childhood on a vineyard in the south-west region of France and about how at an early age he displayed a talent for music.
"You want to meet again tomorrow night? I'll be better company with all my exams done. But as she continued to talk to him she slowly lost her reservations. Serena reminded herself that people were often nothing like they seemed. locked in her room and chain drinking coffee at this point. he was having such a good time. Je suis désole. She was having too good a time to be wary of him. "Who's your friend?" He stopped next to the table and looked at her. Still smiling she waved. intelligent and beautiful as Serena. Darien smiled at Serena. Serena grinning ear to ear late at night before an exam. Serena looked at him as he sipped his fourth cup of coffee." They shook hands. This was strange." She looked over at Darien. "Sere. mais il faut que j'aille. Serena?" She definitely wanted to talk to him again. not to be bossy or anything but shouldn't you be studying? It's getting late eh?" Serena looked at her watch." How had it gotten so late? Darien was reluctant to go. Darien seemed to be totally honest and at ease with her as she was with him. It was well past midnight! "Oh my god! I didn't realize how late it was. He lives across the hall from me. Then turned his auburn head to her. He was the nicest person she had ever met. "Will I see you again. "Hey Kyle!" "Hi Serena. "Bien sur. How's it going?" He looked over at Darien. But she was right it was getting late." . I have an exam tomorrow that I still want to do some more studying for. Serena was laughing hysterically at a story he was telling her about one of his school day antics when she saw Kyle heading toward them. "Darien." He drained his cup and looked at her.31 Chance Encounters interesting. "This is my friend Kyle. "This is Darien. I must be going myself." He stood studying the guy sitting with Serena. very interested in who could make her so happy. It is getting late and I have another performance tomorrow. She was usually stressed out. "Hi there. How's it going?" Kyle grinned and shook hands with Darien. And he had managed to do it by accident. I'm sorry but I have to go.
Inanely even! This is the happiest I've seen you since we moved in." "Yeah I know. She punched him in the shoulder. "À bientôt!" "Bonsoir. but still couldn't stop smiling." She walked into the room quietly so she wouldn't wake any of the others. "You know I'm just kidding right? I'm happy seeing you happy." Kyle looked at her with a big smirk on his face. She couldn't remember the last time she laughed so hard or felt so at ease with anyone let alone a guy." He helped her out of her chair and kissed her hand. "Sigh." "I am not!" She couldn't stop smiling." He jostled her ribs with his elbow. . After that talk with Darien all of the tension was gone and she felt great. It showed.32 Chance Encounters "It is a date." Grinning. she was in a very good mood. "Stop being stupid!" "You've got it so bad!" Finally after much teasing they got their rooms. She shrugged at Kyle. Serena toyed with the back of the chair. they were already awake waiting for her in the living room. She couldn't deny it." He grabbed his jacket and tie. Night Serena. Night Kyle." Serena smiled watching him weave his tall form easily through the crowd. "We will be setting up at around four pm. "He's a pianist. "Look at you! Smiling. "Who the hell was that? Is he like a count or something?" "Nah. "You are so smitten. Serena was careful not to let the door slam and turned silently only to be startled by the girls. isn't he dreamy? He was so dashing!" Kyle was doing a really lousy imitation of her voice.
" She mumbled with the toothbrush still in her mouth. I'm just happy." Lita grabbed her face and looked into her eyes." she disappeared into the bathroom. "Serena met someone!" Everyone snapped their heads around to look at her. "I know that look!" she stared at her open mouthed. "You've met someone!" She turned to the girls. You said you were going to the gym like four hours ago. Mina and Raye were sitting in their robes at the table apparently waiting for her to come home.. "You hooked up!" Serena stopped and looked at them open mouthed. "We've been worried about you. are you alright? Where have you been?" Lita. Can't I be happy?" Raye looked at her and picked up on the happy aura around Serena. What I do know is that I'm tired and I need a shower. "Come on!" They all stood looking at her. dish! We want to hear it all. They all looked very worried. . So if no one minds.33 Chance Encounters "Serena. you've turned down half the university. Besides he's not from the university. maybe I haven't. Raye pointed at her accusingly. They looked at each other puzzled by her good mood. leisurely. A big smile on her face she waved at them. And you definitely weren't in a good mood. "Nope. "He's got to be something special. Maybe I have. "No I didn't." "I don't know.. Serena shook her off and kicked off her shoes. Serena took a nice." She still couldn't stop smiling. hot shower and when she came out they were right there waiting perched on the sinks." "I have not. "Are you on something?" Laughing. She arched her brow. Serena was in too much of a good disposition to notice. "Hi guys! Having a good night?" She hung up her coat. Serena proceeded to brush her teeth and wash her face. "Come on.
When she came out they were still there talking. he'd have to say he was ok looking from a guy's standpoint and had a heavy accent. "Yeah I think he said that she was talking to him in French. but when it became apparent that she wasn't going to say anything more about her mystery guy they left for their rooms." She peeked around the corner and saw the girls. They knocked and shouted questions as Serena changed into a T-shirt and shorts. Kyle said he'd never seen her so happy before." "God! He must be something! Have you seen the talent that she's turned down?" It was Lita's voice. They continued to knock a little while longer. "Kyle said that since he's not use to rating guys. They all looked up and smiled. They were talking about her.34 Chance Encounters They all brightened. "Anyways she was laughing and grinning like crazy. she crept down the hall and tried to hear what the others were saying. "Good night you guys!" and closed the door again. She decided to investigate. "So he doesn't live on the hill or he doesn't go to school?" "That's all I'm telling you guys!" Serena was laughing as she ran to her room and shut her door. She stuck her head out the door and smiled. I think he said it was French. at least she was telling them a little something. "Bonjour Serena!" ." Obviously they were talking about Darien. She was flying!" Shrugging. She could clearly make out her roommates' voices and she could hear Malachite's and Andrew's as well. Serena climbed into bed and just lay there smiling thinking about Darien for some time before she drifted off into a deep sleep. she woke up more refreshed than any morning she could remember. Serena walked into the room. Walking to her door she could hear voices talking excitedly. Serena decided to give them some more time to gossip so she headed for the bathroom and did her usual brush her teeth and then shower routine. "You should have seen her when she walked in. The next morning. Quietly. they were engrossed in what he was saying.
they looked at each other and grinned." Cornered. Serena smiled. Yup." Mina said the whole spiel in one breath. Y'know where she is?" . Or so you guys keep telling me." Serena took an exaggerated look at her watch. "You have to tell us more! This is so exciting!" Malachite walked over and sat down next to Min and took her hand in his. Lita and Mina were sitting at the table grinning from ear to ear. Turning another corner she ran into Malachite. "Oh will you look at the time! I have to get going to get some last minute cramming in. The rest of the day went by uneventfully. "Now you. This caught everyone off guard. "Looks like I'm not the only one with some news. "So? Come on you have to tell us. Serena turned and walked down the wide hall confident that she did well. "You trying to find Min?" "Hey girlie. When did this happen?" She sat down on the couch and put her coffee on the small table in front of her. She was dragging her hand through her hair and chewing on her pen. And that's all there is to tell. she looked miserable. Gotta run!" Everyone groaned. but satisfied that she answered to the best of her ability she handed her paper into the professor and walked out the door. "Well we've been talking about it for a while and decided that we're good together so we're going out now. she studied in the library for a couple of hours and she headed to the exam. It took her three hours to do. She didn't seem to be doing too well. They blushed but looked happy. threw on her coat and walked out the door.35 Chance Encounters "So I suppose you've heard all about him then?" Serena went into the kitchen and made herself a coffee. "Hey there Malachite!" She knew what he was up to. She got up and dumped her coffee into a travel mug. She looked through the window at Mina. "Bye now!" Pillows hit the door behind her. All eyes turned toward them.
she stopped to talk to a few people here and there." she had turned and walked straight into his chest." "Ok. . She shrugged to herself. "Later!" Serena took a look at the bulletin board. Flyers with books for sale were everywhere. "I heard about your little encounter with the French guy last night. Oh great! "Hi Seiya. "Thanks. "What are. Then she saw the poster. Lita. She stumbled backwards.36 Chance Encounters "Second door on the left. He cleared his throat. The prof just extended the exam by about twenty minutes so you shouldn't have too long to wait. I guess it's just not meant to be." He sauntered happily down the hall. how're you doing?" Serena hung up her coat and kicked off her shoes. Smiling she turned around and walked past the main entrance and toward the Wintergarden. "I just wanted to tell you how I -" Before he could finish his sentence. and she could definitely fall for him. Darien was photographed sitting at his piano smiling. He reached out and held her arms to steady her. Mina and Malachite walked in. It announced that tonight was his last night. Malachite must have said something hilarious because the two girls were in hysterics. Posters for clubs added some colour to the wall. then headed back up to Rez. not only in Prince George.. On her way through the garden. Mina was the first to notice them." Serena looked at him and noticed how tense he looked. not very Seiya-like at all. at least she'd get to see him one more time before he left. dressed to perfection in his black tux. He pulled her over to the couch and sat her down next to him. Check ya later. He was incredible. Too bad she couldn't spend more time with him." She said dryly. but in North America as well. cool. She walked into the suite and found Seiya there waiting for her.. "So what are you doing here?" She backed out of his reach. His cerulean eyes twinkled with obvious love for his art and he had a slight dimple in his right cheek that she hadn't noticed the night before. "I just want you to be careful ok?" He was quiet for a moment.
"You saw me?" Her face started to get really hot. I gotta get going anyways. he rolled his eyes. She looked at Seiya. but she didn't look quite convinced. "Don't worry about it. He just shrugged. Mina looked at him. "Later. "Is something wrong? Hold on don't answer that. Is it that guy on the poster I saw you staring at?" Serena looked at Malachite. "You can't just rip those off the walls!" Everyone noticed her face going red. Serena wasn't sure what was going on. She shook her head. we'll get out of your way. I was talking to Sere." She grabbed Malachite's arm and started to pull him back out the door. "Sorry did we interrupt something?" No answer from either of them. And as I was leaving I saw her looking at this poster grinning from ear to ear. Wanna coffee?" Lita nodded.37 Chance Encounters "Hey guys. He's alright I think. "Whatever. trying to find you. "What was that about? Is he ok?" Still confused." Quickly he disappeared out the door. "Just before you came out of the exam. Serena's face must have been a million degrees. so tell us about this Frenchy. "You're sure he's ok? Did he say anything about me?" Malachite and Mina sat at the table. Seiya stood up. Lita sat down. "So it's him? Darien something. . "I have no clue." He ran across the hall and brought back the poster." She saw how Seiya's brows were drawn together and realised what they had done." He looked at Serena. Serena went to make herself a coffee. "When did this happen?" Since they had started going out Mina was keeping a tight rein on Malachite.
. "I mean the red one is nice. "I like that one better. "Yeah. elegant black leather pumps. you're not going to meet him. the black one it is. The girls laughed." Serena looked at it and agreed. his name was clearly written on it." she teased. "I like it too." Mina gave him a hard thump on the back. Malachite? How long is he here? Do we get to meet him?" Malachite elbowed her before she could ask another question." Lita looked at them and pointed at the black one. his last one in North America for this tour. Go with that one." She put it up against her and looked down. Malachite looked at them and grinned." "Yeah but you're going to meet him right?" Lita looked as interested as the rest of them. "This is too much for me. About five seconds later she was back out into the living room. "Or do you think that it's too much? I have pantsuits that would work. The girls were in awe when she pulled out her jewellery box.38 Chance Encounters right?" Mina was smiling. He's got a performance tonight. "He's from France and no. I know how you guys get all protective and stuff." Malachite kissed Min and headed across the hall. his name is Darien le Conte. I'm out of here. "Which dress do you guys like better?" She held out a simple black dress that was short and had no sleeves and a fiery red one that didn't have sleeves either but reached her ankles and had a daring split up one leg. so if you'll excuse me. "So is he. You'll end up scaring him back to France. "A dress! It must be serious! The red one is sexy." She ran down the hall and brought back a heap of suits in a rainbow of colours." She pointed at the poster. a small black sequinned bag and simple jewellery. She gave him tearful look. About twenty minutes later they had decided on the black dress. "It's about time I got dressed anyways. Sorry Malachite." Serena put up her hand. She looked at her watch. "Oh no you don't. "I think we'll just have to tag along." She got up and went to her room.
Darien's breathtaking eyes widened as he looked at her and he smiled." When she arrived at the theatre and looked around until she found him. Her hair was held back with delicate combs and her make up was put on carefully. He smiled at her. "It's like a treasure chest." She looked stunning. "You look stunning Sere. it's huge. She picked up her wrap and exhaled. Darien gazed into her eyes and for a moment everything else around them fell away." He gently took her hand." Shyly she walked over to him. the guys and the girls. He looked over at her. He recovered first. He sat at the table looking grim. all except for Seiya. matching earrings and tennis bracelet." Serena just shook her head. Darien directed her toward the other people. He introduced Serena to everyone without taking his eyes off her even once. "Serena. Later everyone. The girls flocked to her. "You should see my mom's. Serena emerged from the room wearing everything they had picked out. though there were so many that she very much doubted if she would remember . Darien. They apparently finished just as she walked over to Darien. The guys gave a few catcalls." They all hugged. Everyone was there. seeing her dazed look and knowing she felt the same thing he had. he was laughing along with some people and put his hand in his pockets. working with the others getting everything put into its place. "Bonjour. "Ok time to go." "Nah.39 Chance Encounters Mina gasped. "You look beautiful." Ten minutes after sifting through the entire contents of the box. later they decided on a simple gold chain with a solitaire diamond pendant. Makes my jewellery look like stuff you'd pull out of a Crackerjacks box. Serena noticed the curious looks everyone was giving her and she blushed. brought it up to his lips and kissed it. "So how do I look?" She looked at everyone and smiled nervously. bonjour. The jewellery sparkled as she walked into the room. She looked stunning. Serena shook hands with each of them and said hi. Putting his arm lightly around her waist.
" She didn't think that it would be appropriate for her to go with him. She was so cute! "Ça va." She lightly fingered the keys. She expected him to be like those Hollywood stars that you read about in the paper who couldn't even do their own laundry let alone set up complicated equipment." "Merci. Moments later he brought back her coffee. When she finished. "Je suis désolé. "Please. He smiled encouragingly at her so she began to play nervously. "You help with the setting up?" Serena was very much surprised when she saw him working along side his crew. or course. Darien looked terrific. "Come. He smiled when he saw her cheeks colour. Still. Serena. praying that the lessons that she had as a child would come back to her. many hands make light work. I have to go to the hotel. She ran her hands over the keys as she waited. He was well built. Come with me?" Blushing. I'm sorry but I must get dressed for tonight's performance." She shook her head shyly. Stumbling a couple of times she managed to play Für Elise." The request was made quietly." He looked at his watch. "Magnifique! You play very well. something that was hidden under the jacket and shirt last night. "No. "Bien sur. a huge departure from the tux he wore when he performed. He sat down beside her and gently put her fingers backs on the keys. "I've never played on a grand piano before. Especially when you say you haven't played in a long time. I think I'll wait here. yes two sugars I have a bit of a sweet tooth. "Two sugars right? I saw you do that last night. but he was definitely fit." He was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Serena shook her head. His hair was tousled and he was smiling at her. Serena admired his physique. I will . He wasn't muscular in a bodybuilder sort of way. chérie." She looked at the piano.40 Chance Encounters their names. he applauded her smiling from ear to ear. "You play? Show me. would you like some real coffee?" He took her hand a sat her down on his piano bench.
" He smiled even more when Serena the blush on her cheeks deepened. I will come through those doors over there. "I have never seen Darien so happy. Nephlite will keep you company. You are . especially Nephlite Noyez. "Do not worry! I am just teasing you. "Good. I will play several pieces with maybe a couple of encores and then we are done for tonight." He made it all sound so simple. Once everyone is seated. "Ok Serena. "Would you like to come out with me?" "Oh no! I couldn't!" Serena blushed. "Of course we did. Darien kissed both hands. Darien laughed and took her hands. something that Serena was getting pleasantly use to. "You can sit here in the front. Darien did as well. Nephlite leaned over to her. No one had anything bad to say about the man. the performance will start in about thirty minutes. "I must go now I will be back in a little while. She shook her head. I trust my friends took good care of you?" Nephlite jumped forward. About thirty minutes after he left. who turned out to be a good friend of Darien's. How could we not? She is such a winning creature." Nephlite had returned and was now dressed in an expensive looking suit. It seemed that his generous nature was not a façade as she had feared.41 Chance Encounters return very soon. Serena laughed happily." He kissed her hand and disappeared with three of his people. Darien returned dressed and groomed perfectly. "Did I take too long?" He kissed her hand. She wandered around making small talk with some of the people who worked with him. She found that they were very friendly and quite funny as well. He told her amusing stories of their childhood and about how Darien took him on when he lost his job in Paris. looked into her eyes and walked out the door." He winked at her and smiled. He sat her back down on the piano bench and went through what was going to happen." he gestured at the doors to the left of the piano.
exciting. Deafening applause erupted from the audience when Darien strode in a moment later looking very confidant. Darien is very happy about that. "You all are going to Europe next right?" Nephlite smiled. Serena turned toward the door waiting for Darien to make his entrance. They were penetrating.42 Chance Encounters good for each other. He bowed and took his place at the piano. He's my oldest friend and I have never seen him behave this way before. he will not let you go very easily. "Yes. intelligent. that you could come." Serena blushed. "It is time. She looked at the piano. good looking and his eyes. How many people are expected to attend tonight?" "It is a full house. They chatted quietly as they waited while people streamed into the theatre and took their seats." That sucked. But the thought of what Seiya was going to tell her kept nagging in the back of her mind. She had never been happier either. I'm just getting comfortable. Nephlite looked at her. She really liked spending time with him and would have loved getting to know him better. She adjusted herself and sat back in her chair. "That's very nice of you to say. He has always fought for what he wants. Was it what she thought he was going to say? No it couldn't be." Everyone settled in their seats. I'm fine. The . He was funny. He was everything she wanted in a man. Wow. He talked about you all last night. He was interested in Lita not her. Like they could see straight into her heart. it felt as though the entire audience held their breath. The anticipation was almost palpable as they waited for his to strike the first note. "Are you alright?" "Yes. From the second that the first chord was stuck. Again the crowd grew quiet. but if I know Darien. And Darien. He was fantastic." He smiled and led her to their seats and sat down. "Even more so. Serena smiled at what he had said." He smiled at her." The lights dimmed and the crowd grew quiet. but I doubt that I will ever see him again after tonight.
phone numbers. Serena watched as an endless stream of women flirted and smiled at him. the audience exploded into a thunderous applause.43 Chance Encounters music held everyone in its grasp. "Ready?" "Ready as I'll ever be. but she was only able to sit and listen. And the rest of them. and hotel keys. One after another they approached him trying to catch his attention. Serena looked at him and saw that he was playing with his eyes closed. His fingers caressed the keys tenderly evoking the most beautiful melodies. "It is time for the backstage fiasco. like the piano was a part of him and the music was something that was completely natural to him like breathing. then he walked off the stage. eyes streaming with tears. The poignant music stirred something deep inside her. including Darien. As they approached she saw women literally throwing themselves at him. walked away from her. It was really starting to bother her until Darien looked up and saw her. non?" Serena could only nod. He handed her a handkerchief. Blatantly flaunting themselves and handing him what Serena could see were underwear. He winked and bowed deeply. He was extraordinary. "Serena. completely enraptured." He pulled her through the crowd to where Darien was. Did you enjoy the performance?" He scribbled his name into another book that was thrust in his face. He finished signing the book some woman was holding and much to the disappointment of the woman. . Serena stood up and joined in." He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows comically. Nephlite turned to her as she tried to wipe away the tears and clean up her makeup. Serena closed her eyes and let the music carry her away. After what seemed like an eternity later and his third encore. "He's wonderful. She was mesmerized as she watched him work his magic. He bowed in every direction and last of all looked directly at her.
She followed Nephlite out of the crowd. The women looked like they wouldn't let anything get in their way on their mission to get to Darien. jewels and fur. She remembered admiring her for her looks when she was in high school. "You can't follow him all over the world you know. blowing smoke into Nephlite's face. Scowling. "I have more right than . They wove their way through." It opened and tall blonde woman slid into the opposite seat. Looking puzzled. You have no right!" "Of course I have the right!" She replied haughtily.44 Chance Encounters "Yes. Would you like a drink?" He went to the small bar and poured two glasses of wine. "Darien told you months ago that he didn't want to see you anymore!" He rasped glaring at the woman. He usually spends about twenty minutes or so signing autographs and then he comes back to the car. Suddenly there was a loud banging on the window. But what was she doing here? Serena returned her attention to the two arguing in rapid French. she sat down pulled off her dark glasses and glared daggers at Nephlite." Darien nodded at her and she understood. Dressed in obviously expensive clothes. "Darien says for me to take you out of here before you get hurt. "He will be a little while longer. choking on the pungent smoke but she didn't seem to care at all. Darien looked at Nephlite and issued some quick orders in French. it was fabulous!" Serena ducked a book flying past her face. Nephlite put down the drinks and unlocked the door. "That cannot be him. Then it hit Serena. "What is going on here? How come no one came to get me before you left Strasbourg!" She pulled a cigarette out of a gold case and lit it. his dislike of her was extremely obvious. she had seen her in some magazines before sitting the exact same way and with a cigarette in her mouth. she quickly translated as much as she could. walked out a side door and into the back of a shiny black limo. She was absolutely gorgeous. Nephlite coughed.
"Who is this delightful child?" Serena had had enough. Darien stood close to the door eyeing her with displeasure. "I am his fiancée. "Sabine. qu'es que tu fait ici?" He did not look happy to see her. Her appearance as cool and calm as ever. As gracefully as she could. "Sabine. "And you would be?" She could have as much attitude as any crazy French woman. Serena turned to Nephlite looking for an explanation." She purred." She climbed out. "Darien hasn't talked to you in almost a two years! Why don't you take the hint?" The door opened and Darien waved at the crowd one more time and then got in. Sabine ignored his words and looked at Serena as well. Serena sat very still for a fraction of a second not knowing what to do and then collected herself. She didn't look at all happy. "She is not! And she never was. putting on a seductive voice. Again she fell for a . It was obvious what she thought. She looked at Serena like she had just noticed a bug on her sweater. I was so scared and alone." She pulled him down beside her. "No one. I told you months ago to leave me alone! Now please leave!" He looked worriedly at Serena. He had to get rid of Sabine so that he could explain things to her. of course!" Fiancée! Shocked. Serena stood up and opened the door. it faded and he muttered an oath. Nephlite was outraged. "Is she a fan? She'll be quite beautiful when she grows up won't she Darien?" She looked down her perfect nose at Serena. Looks like Darien was just a rat like the other men on the planet. considering her knees were threatening to fail. her spine straightened. He was smiling until he saw her. "It wasn't nice of you to leave me like that. slammed the door and walked away.45 Chance Encounters anybody!" Serena looked at her." Nephlite glared at her. Darien pulled his arm out of hers and moved as far away as he could in the small space. "Darien darling.
" He grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her gently until she looked at him. "Now are you going to talk or am I gonna have to shake harder?" Seiya had seen the state she was in when she walked past the Wintergarden. She pushed him off. staring at the flames in the hopes of loosing herself in the flickering light. Apparently Mr. Why couldn't she remember that when she was with him? "Bad night?" Oh for god's sake! Can't I get any peace? "Go away Seiya. "Get off! I don't need you to comfort me." She went to stand up. How could she have let herself be so stupid? She hung onto and believed every single word out of his mouth like some love struck idiot! Men were bad news. He sat down beside her and put his arm around her shuddering shoulder. Argh! She turned and headed toward the fireplace. Serena quickly turned away from him so that he wouldn't see. It was enclosed in a glass room and had cushy chairs around it. "Go away. "I don't need anyone. Pulling her wrap tightly around her she walked back into the university and headed for the Wintergarden. Serena kicked off her shoes and sat down. She angrily wiped it away and punched the chair. You think you find a nice guy and whammo! I've had it! Darien shouted for her to stop but she didn't listen and kept walking. Anger started to conquer the hurt and the tears slowed. every single one of them. but changed her mind when she saw all the cheery students celebrating the end of their midterms. She could hear more shouting from the back of the car but no one came out." She added in a whisper. "So what? You're just going to shut yourself off again? That's an annoying habit of yours you know." She took another jerky breath. French Piano Guy hurt her pretty badly.46 Chance Encounters slimy creep. leaving only burning anger in its wake. I want to be alone. I can handle this myself." She took a hiccupping breath and the tears started to pour down her face. Never fails. . She felt a tear run down her cheek.
"You've got to talk to her cuz she's got it bad for you." She looked at him. "You really have no clue what I'm talking about do you?" He stood up and started pacing." "You're blind." "Nah.. "No. She turned around to say good-bye to Seiya but found herself face to face. put her shoes on and paused to look at the fire with dry eyes. She told all of us that you asked. "Where's Lita? I thought you two were together. "Lita? What's she got to do with this?" "Haven't you noticed? She's been throwing herself all over you since we moved into Rez. He felt the subtle change in her and groaned. I didn't mean it to be a one on one thing. She's completely infatuated with you. Serena got up. talk to me. When they all first met you she told us all to back off of you cuz you were hers." She looked at him with dull eyes. I can't believe you haven't noticed. scrutinizing his face. That way you won't get lost and stuff. she didn't have the strength to fight him. Before she could push him away he gathered her up in his arms and kissed her. She tried to struggle out of his arms but there was no use. . deepening the kiss." Satisfied that she turned the attention off of herself. Boy do I know how to choose them." "What do you mean?" He looked confused.well were going to ask her out. Jeez!" He ran his hands through his hair..47 Chance Encounters He pulled her back down. well more like face to chin with him. "Ask her out? What are you talking about? I just said that me and the guys should take you all out sometime and show you around. she's just friendly. His touch softened and they sank into the warmth of the kiss. Sighing she closed them.
"I'll walk you up. "I'll see you later. Taking the loofah she scrubbed herself until she was . "I have to go. "What do you think you're doing?" "What's wrong?" Stupid! Now you've freaked her out! The intensity of the kiss caught him off guard and he was a little shaken himself. He sat down next to her and took her hand." She grabbed her wrap and her bag off the floor. "No." Not knowing how to express herself she got up and paced.48 Chance Encounters Feelings that Serena tried to keep buried for too long came bubbling up to the surface. Putting on her robe she headed for the bathroom and prepared to take a long. leaving Seiya standing there bewildered. The feelings overwhelmed her. I'm going that way anyways. she wrapped her arms around him and inhaled his cologne. Sitting in the full tub she dunked her head a couple of times and resurfaced feeling a little better. "Just leave me alone alright?" She turned on her heel and walked out.. She pulled away. She took all the jewellery off and tossed them carelessly onto the desk then took off her clothes and kicked them into a pile on the floor by her bed..." He tried to joke.." How could she let him kiss her? She was such an idiot! "Why?" Knowing that arguing with her wouldn't do any good he got up and put on his coat. She broke the kiss and pushed him away as hard as she could. hot bath. It had been so long since anyone kissed her like this." "Why don't you tell me what's wrong?" He tried to take her hand again. "S. She desperately fought to keep them in check but she couldn't. her treacherous body didn't listen. Her bag slipped from her fingers and hit the floor. it had been such a long time since she let herself feel. At the suite she walked in the door and without a word to anyone walked straight to her room and locked the door. Serena found herself kissing him back. Shakily. "I can't." Unsteady she sat down on the couch and buried her head in her hands. The clatter woke her from the spell. I. I'd really like to be alone.stop it!..
She stared at him astonished by his audacity. "Tell him to go with Sabine!" She climbed out of the tub a while later when the water started to feel too cool. "I don't want to talk to you. There was a timid knock on the door when she resurfaced. He was still wearing his tux but his tie hung limp and undone done on his neck. "Serena. Then she tackled her hair. "Yeah?" "There's a gorgeous guy with an accent at the door looking for you. "Yes! Tell him that I don't want to talk to him and to go away!" She returned to her manic scrubbing. Should I tell him to go away?" How did he find me? Serena felt like screaming in frustration." Darien stood where he was. "What are you doing here?" Serena's hostility was obvious. She dried herself off. The girls were nowhere to be seen. She dunked her head again. at the table waiting for her holding a long stemmed red rose and a bottle of champagne. Serena looked up when she heard a shuffling noise. put on her robe and went into her room. Two crystal champagne flutes sat sparkling on the table in the dim light. Alarmed she whirled around to find Darien was standing there. . "Please leave before I call security. furiously massaging her scalp until she had suds running into her eyes." She walked over to the door and opened it. I am so sorry about what happened earlier.." He offered the rose.49 Chance Encounters almost raw. "Sere?" It was Raye.." He looked at her and saw how infuriated she was yet he still didn't move. She walked out to the kitchen to make herself a drink before she headed to the gym. His hair stuck out and his eyes looked tired. "Chèrie. Security would have to drag him out kicking and screaming unless he had a chance to explain things to her. Minutes later she was dressed in a pair of sweats and a sports bra.
"How did you find me?" She sat across from him and placed the rose on the table without so much as a second glance. "S'il vous plait. She didn't like surprise visits. Serena.. He looked truly dejected. Serena turned away from his infuriating eyes.. Tell me how I can make it up to you. "You could start by explaining. Serena made a mental note to talk to her friend. "Please give me a chance to explain. "I asked the girl at the Wintergarden where you lived. têtu? How do you say it?" . Who was she? And why did she say she was you fiancée?" She couldn't make her words have any feeling. She was not always like that. here I am." Serena looked at him. Serena knew she wasn't going to get him to leave that easily." She let the door close." "I didn't deceive you. I searched et voila. She still glared at him but motioned for him to sit.50 Chance Encounters "You think that you can offer me a rose and say a few nice words and I'll forgive you for deceiving me?" She shook her head." He took her hand.. "Why is she still following you around if she was a former girlfriend?" "She does not want to accept that it is over between us. "She was former girlfriend. She was never my fiancée. She is very.uh." He said the last bit quietly. "I don't think so. She told me. "It doesn't look like that from where I am. but when she became a model it went to her head." Serena let her hand sit in his. She is a bit much to handle if you have not noticed. "You must have felt so betrayed. He looked miserable." Darien stared at her directly in the eye.. She used to be a sweet girl." She had to admit that she was impressed that he would go to such lengths to find her. I have never asked anyone to marry me before.
"I have not stopped thinking about you since I found you crying outside the theatre. You're beautiful eyes." He kissed her again. beautiful.51 Chance Encounters "Stubborn. Someone sophisticated. Not to the woman I love. cute little nose. His sapphire eyes were shining in the dim light. He put his hand under her chin and gently lifted her head to look at him. Serena was breathless from the myriad of feelings zipping through her body. It is.. I'm only a student. When I first looked into you eyes I felt like electricity went through me. It was as though someone poured brandy into her. I think of nothing else." Serena looked down at her clenched hands feeling stupid for being so upset over someone she just met and hardly even knew. Shaky. And besides. A long while later they surfaced. I can never lie to you. "How can you say that? We only just met. Could it be true? That he felt the same about her as she did about him? "C. "And you think that you are not beautiful? That you are not desirable?" He could see her disbelief mirrored in her eyes. soft lips." He pulled back and looked into her eyes. I do not know what to say to make you believe me.coup de foudre?" She wasn't familiar with the phrase.. she thought about what he just said. I took one look into your eyes and I knew you were the one.. It's because she knows that being seen with me will add to the publicity. She could feel the delicious warmth pool somewhere in her stomach and then seeped into her limbs. Serena closed her eyes as the world tilted crazily. "Everything that I have wanted and ever could want. "Um." "Oui stubborn. "Serena." He stopped a moment the think. "Lightning? Oui.coup de foudre." He looked at her intently. "You are more than she ever could be. She stared at him in complete wonder. He felt it too? .. Serena's resolve started to crumble. she's everything I'm not. You're better off with someone like her.." Serena's eyes widened." He brushed the hair from her face and lightly kissed each part as he said them." He shook his head... "All I can say is that everything I have said and told you about me is true. Lightning." Her suspicions arose again at his last sentence. nothing had ever made her feel this way..
" She saw the promise in his eyes. Serena realized that she did want to be with him. He licked his lips and looked at her for an answer. but I'm just not ready for a relationship yet. I would love to but I need to be here. Serena. non?" He looked thoughtful and patted his pockets looking for something. Darien had to concentrate so that his knees wouldn't buckle." He looked hurt. but I'm just in a bad place right now. Serena saw how his chest rose and fell rapidly as he tried to calm himself down. You are everything that I could ever want.52 Chance Encounters "Come with me. He reached into his coat and pulled a tiny cell phone out of a breast pocket." Darien felt short of breath. I just need some more time to think and sort things out. Still trembling from the intensity of the kiss. But you could make one with me also. "I can't go with you. "I understand how you feel.. "Je t'aime. He stood up and looked at her." She looked into his eyes hoping that he would understand. She stared at him . Not until she sorted out her life first. but not yet. I am going too fast. "Darien. Her heart softened." He nodded." Wide eyed. knowing it was too soon for her. you are so sweet. "Of course. "We will keep in touch." she couldn't think of another good reason. She didn't know what it was about him but she believed everything he said. "Here. Remember that. Serena looked at him and saw that he was sincere. And that he was as affected by the kiss as she was. She put her hand on his cheek.. "Please don't take it the wrong way. "And what? You can bring your work with you and I'm sure we can arrange something with your professeurs. I have school to finish and. Serena smiled but didn't answer. It was such an incredible sensation when their lips touched. Serena." He smiled a wisp of a smile. this is your home. She took his hand." he handed it to her." "Darien I can't follow you around the world.
And don't worry about the bill. "I take that as a yes. Andrew and Malachite filed out of Mina's room." Andrew was smiling." Before she could turn him down he put it in her hand and closed her fingers around it. Serena walked back to the table and picked up the bottle of champagne. She listened for any sounds. Nothing." "See you soon. This feels nice and safe. Mina grabbed the other flute and held it out." She began to pour. Raye. It was too quiet. "How classy you guys. dividing the champagne between hers and Mina's flutes and the other's coffee mugs. He looked at his watch. Nephlite must be going out of his mind looking for me right now." He winked at her. "Yeah. s'il vous plait. "That guy sounds nice." He picked up the phone and looked at it. yeah." He gave her a hug. "Champagne anyone?" She popped the cork. Darien. yeah where to the ceiling?" Everyone knew as well as she did that the bed could only fit in one way. "Take it. "I will. "I must get going. Serena smiled." Malachite offered lamely. "We were just helping Min move her bed. "À bientôt.53 Chance Encounters open-mouthed and shook her head. Lita. ok?" Serena nodded and walked him to the door. "He is. Nothing happened for a second but then one by one Mina. "Call me any time ok? It will work anywhere in the world. Before anyone said anything. Serena." He kissed her cheek and with one last look was gone down the hall. Her cheek tingled where he kissed her. "Hey what do you expect eh? We're students. I did not tell anyone where I was going. "You guys can come out now!" She shouted toward the hall. I can get another." "Then what are you waiting for?" ." They all laughed.
" He stood up. an hour had past and he had accumulated quite a crowd. He turned. who watched him in awe. Serena. She was cute but she had a lot of baggage. He shook his head. He jogged up to the suite but stopped in front of the girls' door thinking about whether or not he should go and try to talk to Serena again. He was going to find out. Before long. ---Serena forgot about going to the gym. So he headed to the gym and took over the punching bag. What the hell happened to her for her to be so cold towards men? He kicked the bag. Tired out. "Sorry but I have to go. If Serena was right about what Lita was thinking. And what the hell was he thinking with that kiss? It was amazing but he had never done anything that impetuous before. He pounded the bag harder. sending it swinging wildly. He would leave her alone until she was ready to talk to him.54 Chance Encounters "I don't know. socks and shoes and started punching and kicking the bag with everything he had." The short blonde one was talking to him. he had to figure out how to let down Lita without hurting her. A couple of girls approached him. "Hi there. Seiya decided he needed to work off some steam." "Thanks." He left them there looking at each other disappointed that they couldn't find out more about him. she got into bed and pulled the covers over her. went into their suite and shut the door. Most of the group were girls he noticed. She made it clear that she didn't want to talk." ---After talking to Serena. Why didn't she go . She was so tired from the day that she decided to lounged in her room a while. He walked in and took off his coat. He nodded. After listening to a selection of CD's. Bye. he picked up his stuff and walked out to where they kept the stair climbers and sat on the floor putting his socks and shoes back on. "We saw you in there and you were awesome.
" He looked at her not knowing what to expect. what about him? He obviously had feelings for her as well and she couldn't deny that she felt a little something too when they kissed. Guilt pooled in the pit of her stomach. good looking and as unbelievable as it sounded. Eventually she fell into a troubled sleep. Wonderful has been cheating on you and everyone knows. so why are people . And his kisses! She smiled when she thought of that but it faded when she remembered Seiya. She was interested in Darien not Seiya. he loved her. Je t'aime. She grinned sheepishly. "Hey Dave. I don't want to be the one to tell you this but. "Haha very funny. A good-looking dark haired guy walked toward her. "What's going on? Why is everyone looking at me so weird?" "Serena. It was her senior year and so far everything was going right." Dave Anderson had been her best friend since kindergarten when she saved him from some bullies. Everyone was looking at her in a weird way. They really needed to have a talk. She looked around her when she got to her locker and people were still looking at her strangely. ---Serena walked into the high school that morning and felt that something was definitely wrong. She heard whispers and she saw people pointing at her." He took a deep breath. Hadn't she been hurt enough? Serena pounded her pillow and got comfortable. He didn't expect her to laugh though. She wasn't popular but she wasn't unpopular either. Speaking of kisses. He nodded at her looking very unhappy. She felt like she was leading him on. Serena. She smiled.55 Chance Encounters for Darien? He was most girls' dream guy. Ridiculous! Why was she acting like a silly little schoolgirl? Guys couldn't be trusted and she knew it. He had everything. "Mr. Since then they spent most of their spare time together. he traveled all over the world. Serena snapped herself out of it. They usually met in the mornings at her locker before meeting everyone else. he was smart. Two guys were interested in her. She did well in all of her classes and she was well liked by the students and faculty alike and she was going out with a great guy.
blond hair neatly styled and dressed to perfection." She looked at his face and saw that it wasn't a joke.. "How long?" She could feel her eyes welling up but blinked the tears away. He wants me out of the way so that he can have you for himself. Are you?" She tried to keep her emotions in check. he's never liked me. "Hi baby. A blonde haired blue-eyed vision. "Why is everyone staring at me and why does Dave say that you've been cheating on me?" "How am I supposed to know? And you know Dave has it in for me. indicating that he was at his locker. So tell me. What's going on?" She glared at him demanding an answer. Slamming her locker shut.." They've had that argument before many times. "You know that's not true." Dave pointed down the hall. Mr. . she had been shocked when he asked her out two years before." She paused to collect herself. happy now?" He didn't even look the least bit remorseful.56 Chance Encounters looking at me. Livid." He went to kiss her. He was walking toward her. Jeff. "Don't hi baby me. "What's that suppose to mean?" She didn't care that there was a crowd beginning to gather to watch the latest drama unfold in the halls. she strode down the hall. Serena felt that they were a great couple. Serena glared at him.. She thought that they were happy. "Where is he? I want to hear this from him myself. He's my best and oldest friend and he wouldn't lie to me especially about something like this. "Tell me!" "Yeah I am. He shrugged. The smile on her face faded. Wonderful was his nickname for her boyfriend. He was a jock and was very popular with the ladies. "You're not kidding. past people looking at her knowing there was something going on. She pushed him away.
"How thoughtful of you!" Before she could hit him again. Serena wanted down. Dave let go of her arms. He knew how mad she could get and how dangerous it was to be the target of her anger." "Why does it matter? He cheated and it's over. she had beaten them all up at one point or another. "Leave her alone! Haven't you done enough?" . Dave looked pissed. She looked up in time to see that Jeff was walking down the hall toward them.57 Chance Encounters "About ten months. He flinched remembering being her sparring partner in tae kwon do class." Serena's hands were balled into fists at her side and without thinking she swung at him. He grabbed him by the shoulder. Before he could get to her Dave and the rest of the boys surrounded him. connecting with his chin. but she backed away from him. Still kicking. "I didn't want to tell you like this. "Let me go! I'm going to find out who and why. You gonna get into real shit for that you know." "Ha! And when were you going to tell me? When I walked in on you while you were having sex?" "I wanted to wait until after finals so it wouldn't interfere with them. she shouted at Dave. He hit the ground. "Relax and I'll let you go alright?" Still furious she nodded." He quickly ran past an open classroom door hoping that the teacher inside wouldn't notice. calm down. She could definitely handle herself." He put her down and looked her in the eye. "Let me go!" "Sere. Serena was the biggest tomboy Dave knew and from what he could remember. Dave and some of the guys that they hung out with dragged her off him and down the hall." He went to hold her.
"Yes I'm fine.. "That was quick.. nope. You were just in Bern yesterday.58 Chance Encounters "I just want to explain.." She could hear the happiness in his voice. She could still hear ringing. Are you sure you're alright?" He didn't sound quite convinced." She sat on the bed. "Yeah I just had a nightmare." She quickly dismissed it. It was just a stupid dream.. She looked around expecting to be on the ground in the hall.. "Hello? Darien?" Serena was getting use to the late night calls from Darien. Slowly she sank to the floor and cried. Serena loved to hear his voice. "Allô? Serena?" It was Nephlite." "Just leave me alone. She saw the cell phone on the desk and it's light was flashing." "Yes. A million thoughts swirled through her mind. It's nice to hear you too." Serena suddenly felt drained and she couldn't hold the tears in anymore. Where are you?" "I'm in Paris right now.. Shaking her head." Silence. "Hello?" Dead tone. Instead she saw the tiny room and realized it was just a dream. Sometimes the calls would be during the day other times it was late at night. "Are you alright?" The dream was still vivid in her mind. She picked it up. Groggy and confused she looked around to find where the sound was coming from.um. "I must ." "I might send you something anyway. but I decided to call you as soon as I got in the city. I hate men! How could I be so stupid? I'm never going through that again! Never! Serena was startled awake by a ringing. "Allô chère! It is good to hear you again. Is there anything you want from here?" "Oh. Serena went to her phone and picked it up. She shook her head again trying to clear it and focus on what Darien was saying at the same time. "I don't think so. No matter what the time. He had been calling regularly for months. Someone else's voice came on.
and smiling. fell back to sleep. "So where is he now?" . He called her at least twice a week to see what was going on and to keep her posted on what he was doing as well. a dress from Paris. who since that night in front of the fire hadn't mention anything happened. He visited her twice for two days at a time. classes went smoothly and everyone seemed happy. Unfortunately the girls were never around when he was. a glass vase from Venice. Ça va?" "Nephlite. The rest of the guys were their usual happy selves. which they often teased her about." "Bye Darien." She closed the flap on the phone and climbed back into bed. Serena was glad he did. and now a pair of shoes from Rome. "Serena. They were starting to think that she was having an imaginary relationship. she loved to hear his voice and talk about nothing. He and Serena hung out quite a bit. spending most of their time checking out girls and partying. They looked happy enough. Serena was surprised a few mornings by the parcels that she found waiting for her at the mailroom. They went to the gym several times a week and became very good friends. which definitely wasn't enough for either of them." Darien came back on. Raye and Lita's last exams went well and they were happy. ---Over the next few months. Mina and Malachite were doing well. Darien had sent. Sitting at the table she pulled the shoes out and looked at them. They went to the movies and out to dinner and that was about all they had time for. Very nice. oui ça va. Lita was still fluttering around Seiya.59 Chance Encounters take Darien away now he must get prepared for another performance. "You can add them to your collection eh?" Mina walked out of her room dragging Malachite behind her. je t'aime and I will call again soon. over three months. Goodbye.
She was fortunate enough to find a new apartment building that had just been built not too far from Metrotown mall. "What are you going to do over the summer?" Serena put the shoes back into their box. "Very nice. "He's in Rome for a few days. They drove down a few days later after their final exams. She spent a majority of the time lounging in the back jabbering about her and Malachite. With her new job she could easily afford the payments each month. She just found the apartment after Halloween. Christmas was coming up in just a week Serena started going through her things sorting out what she would bring down to her apartment. "I have a job in Vancouver at the Sun. She grabbed him." Mina dragged Malachite off to find Lita. While everyone else was partying. "This is so great! It'll be so much fun! We have to get Lita in on it too!" Serena nodded. Mina picked up the shoes and studied them. Lita and Serena took turns at the wheel." she read. Mina hadn't gotten her driver's license yet. They missed Raye though. The entire seven and a half hours it took them to get down to Vancouver they sang and listened to very loud music. "Hey cool! Maybe we can go down together. it seemed a little different without her.60 Chance Encounters Serena pulled out a letter. They promised to do this again when they were all together. him millionaire." She said pointedly to Malachite. I was going to move some of my stuff down there over the holiday. I hate driving long distances on my own. who was trying to slink away. she went down to Vancouver for a week to see what she could find. It was fun for just the girls to be doing something without one of the guys tagging along. "Sounds good. It was perfect. The rent was a little high but it was nothing she couldn't handle." She started jumping up and down." He said doing a lame Tarzan imitation. "Why don't you ever get me stuff like that?" Malachite thumped his chest with his fist. Over all it was a fun trip though. "Me poor student. Serena dropped them off at their parents' homes and then headed . He looked over to Serena. Serena went and put the shoes in her room amid all the others.
They would know where to get some good furniture. "Don't get me wrong I don't go crazy or anything. "I think it's time of got some furniture. She fell in love with the place as soon as she walked in the very first time. The other things were being delivered. Mina and Lita arranged the furniture and decorations to her liking. Over the next few days they hit Ethan Allen. Mina picked up a bag of prints and Serena grabbed a couple of lamps. She got out of the car and decided to go and take a look at the place before bringing up the boxes. Serena pulled out her keys and opened the door. It had high ceilings. "Sere? How can you afford this?" She watched amazed as Serena handed over a credit card without even looking at the total." Lita picked up a box of accents they bought for the apartment. "My parents are quite well off. They sat down to watch a little TV when Serena's cell phone rang. And my grandfather left me a rather large trust fund. By the end of the week. She looked around the empty room. She walked up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and stopped in front of her door. . Mina's eyes widened when she saw the amount that Serena was buying. So I can pretty much buy what I want." She pulled out her phone and dialled up Lita and Min. I just buy what I need.61 Chance Encounters over to her apartment. The place seemed very secure and was in a great location. Besides he doesn't even know about the place yet." "That's pretty cool. Pier 1 and Ikea. Serena signed the lease an hour after looking it over. Serena drove into the large parking facility and found her space. The three girls had an incredible time shopping. Serena. "Is it on Darien?" Serena blushed and shook her head." She looked at their shocked faces. She didn't even blink when the phenomenal totals came up. large windows that showed a great view of the city. "No. I wouldn't let him do that. It was big enough for her but not too small that it would be suffocating and was very modern which was what she was looking for." She shrugged.
" He paused to look at his watch. "At school?" He sounded puzzled. It seemed like she was always on the phone to him. Lita and Min decided to stay over for a while and help her get things cleaned up and sorted. "I have some time off. "You'll never guess whose coming. chère. You'll never guess where I am. Serena made sure that the girls had a bit before they left. "How come?" it was Serena's turn to be puzzled. she wanted to surprise him with the news." "Fantastic!" The girls looked at her exclamation.62 Chance Encounters "Darien! How are you?" The girls moaned and rolled their eyes. Serena hadn't told him about the apartment. . Soon everyone was in a great mood. While the girls were off doing that." They knew from her smile that Darien was coming over. she decided to just make it simple and made pasta. "I should be there in a few hours since I have to tell the pilot to alter course. "Bien. I'm actually on the plane over there right now. Je t'aime!" "Bye Darien!" she closed the flap on the phone and looked at the girls. Something inside her seemed to light up and it was infectious." She grinned at Lita and Mina." "Really? That's fantastic!" He sounded very happy now. Not knowing what to make. How are you chère?" He sounded happy. Serena started fixing dinner. "I can't wait!" "Talk to you soon. "I'm great. Where else would she be? "Nope! I'm at my new apartment in Vancouver with Lita and Min right now. They had never seen Serena as happy as when she was talking with Darien.
"What are you smiling at?" "I can't believe how alike we are." His voice was rough with fatigue." She half-heartedly swiped at them with a hand towel. jeans and black leather shoes. Right down to the style and colour theme." . If you're not too busy!" Min nudged Lita and they both laughed. We're going to take you two out shopping. She looked back up at his face and was taken in by the happiness in his eyes." Lita looked at Serena and smiled. Darien looked like he just stepped out of a fashion magazine. He was wearing a black leather jacket. "Get out of here you guys. She directed him to the apartment as he drove through the busy streets of Vancouver. He held out a rose. She didn't have to wait long before she got another call from Darien. Serena leapt up and ran to open it. It looked almost exactly the same as his own apartment. which was no easy feat." He moved his arm in a sweeping motion. At the knock on the door. "Serena. She was very impressed that he did it with no problem." "Really?" she looked around. "Yup. Serena sat on the couch waiting for him to arrive. He looked incredible. a beige sweater. "See you tomorrow. Serena noticed his amused look. Serena accepted it and threw herself into his arms. The door revealed a smiling Darien. "I'm sure your place is a bit larger than this is though. He looked around and smiled. Finally he let her down and Serena led him into the apartment.63 Chance Encounters "We're coming over tomorrow though." They left. "It looks almost identical to my flat. He stood there staring back at her. "Darien!" He held her up in the air and hugged her.
Serena gasped. She loved the feel of his lips against hers." He looked around. "Maybe a little" he smiled at her. Slowly he deepened the kiss. He was like a man starved. . You can freshen up in there. "Mmmmm. They discovered that they were both worn out. This had to be her favourite position when she sat with him. "Ok. that last concert in Barcelona was ok but I think I need sometime off." She pulled him down to the couch.64 Chance Encounters He held out his thumb and index finger and held them a tiny bit apart. which is why I'm here now. "Are you hungry?" "Yes. He put his arms around her and exhaled. "Yes." Serena got up." He grinned at her and leaned over the table." She leaned against him and sighed. I just have to reheat the sauce. "You like pasta right?" Serena heard a muffled yes from behind the closed door. "This is nice non? I love just to sit with you. "You must be so tired!" He pulled her down with him." His lips touched hers. His tongue toyed with hers as he drank from her." She pointed to the bathroom. for sure. "A little. Her taste had him craving for more." She looked up at him remembering he just took a really long flight. He went in. "But this is better. "Still it's almost exactly the same." He leaned down and kissed her hair." "Weird. Minutes later they were at the table eating the pasta. "We don't have any distractions. I was planning to surprise you in Prince George. They talked over what they had been doing over the time that they were apart.
"I love you more than I have ever loved anyone before. They managed to clean it all up with only a few minor cuts and a few splotches on their clothes." "I know it's not. He would have to give some more time." He stopped. She'd definitely fallen for him. Serena gave Darien a T-shirt while she changed into another one was well. "Yes Darien?" She was trying to clean up a little cut on his hand." She knelt down beside him and helped pick up the pieces of the shattered bowl. She threw their clothes into the washing machine while they sat down on the couch again. "Serena. "So what is there to do in Vancouver?" . "It's ok I'll get it.. She closed her eyes and let the feelings take over. She kissed him back with just as much feeling." Darien noticed that she didn't say she loved him back though. "Sorry chèrie. He wasn't sure what he was going to say. "Darien. It was amazing the way that the world tilted every time his lips touched hers. "Oh no!" The bowl holding the majority of the spaghetti was on the floor in pieces. Darien decided to take the conversation into another direction.. "And you are the most incredible person I have ever met." Darien was immediately on the floor trying to clean it up. They rapidly opened again when something smashed on the floor. This is definitely not some casual thing.65 Chance Encounters Serena wrapped her arms around him and drew him down to her." Serena knew from the beginning that she could never just put him aside as a fling." Not knowing what to say." "I just wanted you to know how I felt about you. he could feel it but she still hadn't said the words out loud to him. Serena stared at him. It was in every look and every touch she gave him.
" Darien nibbled on her lip then pulled back before he couldn't. "Allô? Nephlite. "Serena. shopping. "Qu'est ce que s'est passé?" He sighed. An hour into the walk. "Tell me. chèrie. "I would love to. Unless you already have a room somewhere. They got up and went to the video store but it was such a beautiful night that they decided to go for a walk instead." Serena suddenly found her fingers very interesting." "Sounds great. "Um. "Well there is Stanley Park. "I want you to stay with me. They had just gotten their drinks when Darien's phone rang." She paused for a breath. "Shall we go back to the apartment?" Serena nodded. but he wanted to hear her say it." Serena nodded. I was thinking." His lips touched hers. Obviously Nephlite called with bad news. "Should we rent some movies or something?" "Sure. Which meant not right now. They needed to savour the moment and take their time. what are you saying?" Darien grinned. They picked up their coffees and walked out." His smile faded and his brows snapped together. Gas Town. Let's get those movies.66 Chance Encounters Serena looked into his eyes and saw that he understood. She blurted it out before she lost her nerve. he looked at Serena.. He knew exactly what she was saying. What shall we do until then?" He looked around the room.Darien. Then I would completely understand-" She realized she was babbling incoherently now and stopped. they decided to stop at a Starbucks and have a coffee. "What's going on Darien?" . straight into his eyes.." Sadly. Heart racing. "You don't have to go to a hotel tonight." He stopped and listened. "Ok I'll be there soon. Lita and Min offered to take us out tomorrow. "Come. They know the city better than I do. They needed to do it right. the aquarium. there are just too many to count. Serena tore her gaze from her fingers and looked at him.
" He shook his head." She mumbled as she sat on the couch. Come with me. "It is so strange.67 Chance Encounters "Nephlite just told me that I have to return because something has gone wrong. what's the matter?" He looked at her and could feel a tension going through her. and she knew that he could see she wasn't being totally honest with him. Serena took off her coat and took Darien's to the closet and hung them up. I have to get things sorted here. He wouldn't tell me what it was because he said I would worry too much. I just have to go and find out myself. "Chèrie. She wanted to tell him but what if it changed the way that he felt about her? She didn't think that she could handle that. And you think that it's so horrible that I will leave you?" Serena's eyes widened when he verbally expressed her own . I will stay here for a few hours then." She felt incredibly guilty. Don't get sad. chèrie. Nephlite never has trouble when I'm away. You know with the apartment and everything. "Serena." "So when do you have to leave?" Her spirits slowly started to slide again. There is something else. "I know. there are just some things about me I'm not ready to share with you yet. Darien noticed it immediately. You have a few days left of your holiday don't you?" "You have no idea how tempting that is. She unlocked the door and they walked in. they took the elevator up to the apartment. It's very unlike him." He was a little disappointed when she said no but he understood. Silently. "I don't want you to go yet. But I can't. "Darien. It must be really bad for him to call me from my vacation time." Why didn't she just go with him? She shook her head. It's too soon." His midnight blue eyes caught her sky blue ones. "No not that. He nodded knowingly. "I see.
"My only break in months down the drains. She looked around the room. "But I must go now and attend to this problem. "Serena. I'll call you soon. I dream about you. . She was totally in awe of him. deeply." A tear rolled down Serena's cheek at his admission." "You will. "How can you be so sure?" "Because I truly love you. Ok then." He looked into her eyes again and got up off the couch. There is no other woman for me. "I hope to see you again soon Darien. Je t'aime!" "Bye Darien!" She watched as he drove away. "Bye chèrie. Serena looked at him with big eyes." He shook his head unbelievably. Both stood there trembling and staring at each other for a long while. "Chèrie I can wait. She walked in and sat down on the chair facing the window." Serena helped him take his bag to his rental car. I will wait until you are ready to tell me. Serena I haven't thought of anyone but you since I met you. He pulled away before it got to the point where he wouldn't be able to stop himself from taking her back to the apartment. Je te révère. I have not only thought of you. "Ah.68 Chance Encounters thoughts." He kissed her again. I fantasize about you. I love you Serena. She opened her mouth to say something but Darien silenced her with a finger on her lips." He saw he was right and pulled her over to him. It felt way too big." Serena stared miserably out the window. I can assure you that there is nothing about you or anything that you can tell me that would change how I feel about you. He replaced his finger with his lips. Finally Darien broke the spell and got in the car. Slowly she walked back to her own apartment.
"Hello!" She looked around. Now they were pretty much ready for another gruelling year at university. They all went back to the girls' room and sat and talked. He's just too busy. trading stories about the summer. Everyone had a summer job that they seemed to take to quite well. "Great!" They helped her bring up the rest of her stuff from the car.69 - . It was a nightmare but it was fun. "Fantastic!" She opened the door and shouted into the hall. But after he visited me in Vancouver that time he hasn't had the time to visit. "Anyone home?" "Serena!" Mina tackled her.CHAPTER c 2 September 1998 Serena dropped her box outside the suite door and opened it. Somehow she and the girls managed to get the same room as they had the year before and so did the guys. "Hey you guys! Guess who's back!" They came out of their suite. "Hey! How are you?" "Great how are you?" She put he box down before she dropped it and gave her friend a hug. She picked up her box and walked in. How were yours? She spent the entire summer running around Vancouver doing things for her superiors at The Sun. "How was your summer?" "Good. We've talked on the phone like we usually do. Lita grabbed her arm. "So what ever happened between you and Darien?" Serena shook her head. "Serena!" They all hugged. When he wasn't doing a concert or . "Nothing much.
She was in the middle of her usual late night reading session when she heard the noise and went to investigate. She found that any time she wasn't working she was thinking about him. so she kept her mind going on other things. There was a knock at the door. Classes. hanging out." Lita patted her arm." "Cool. it was the same thing over and over everyday. studying. And that someone was usually Serena. They even went hiking when they had the time. Usually by this time she would have heard from him at least once. on the phone. "Where's Raye? Isn't she back yet?" Everyone shook their heads. It was fantastic to have the woods right behind the residence. Serena shrugged. Serena engrossed herself into her work. As it was they were spending whatever downtime they had. Serena pushed the thought of not seeing him out of her mind. so that she could keep her mind off of him." But it was that bad. The girls added some variety to the monotony by shopping and working out. She was beginning to think that they might as well not have a relationship. Her room was piled with books for research and she hardly had time to hang out as much as they use to. There were trails for kilometres." "Wow! Talk about busy! Too bad you guys couldn't spend more time together." Everyone got into their routines over the next few weeks. Still she wished she could share it all with Darien. If they didn't get to spend some time together soon they were going to go crazy. As usual the rest of the girls were fast asleep and couldn't hear anyone knocking or at least pretended not to. content in letting someone else get out of bed. Serena just wanted to spend more time with him. For Serena it was heaven. "She's suppose to be back tomorrow it think.70 Chance Encounters interviews or travelling he was teaching at some school in Prague. "We're always on the phone so it's not that bad. So she wasn't in the best of moods as she slowly walked . It was too terrible to think. Serena was disappointed that Darien hadn't called today. Serena looked at her clock it was almost 2am.
" Serena opened the door a crack and peeked out ready to yell at whoever it was. "It is important. She brought her hand to it and touched it lightly. Over the months he got more crazed to see her. His eyes were drawn to where 'U' on her UNBC T-shirt outlined her nipple. things mysteriously going missing. Serena enjoyed .71 Chance Encounters to the door. She looked very much the tired student in her T-shirt and shorts. "This had better be important. The fatigue evaporated leaving unbelievable joy. He pulled back and looked at her. venues not being ready. She looked adorable. He took her hand and kissed her palm. etching her features into his mind. He swung her up in his arms and carried her to her room. interview times getting mixed up. "Dieu. I haven't seen you in too long. His hair was tousled and he had a shadow of stubble on his face. So he took the first chance he had and flew over. He smiled. Serena licked her lips nervously. "Serena!" He looked just as tired as she was but he dropped his bag and picked her up anyways and hugged her inhaling the fresh floral scent that was as much a part of her as her golden sun-spun hair. He couldn't believe the horrible luck that had plagued him. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail and wisps of it had escaped and framed her face. Serena had never seen him with stubble before." The accented voice came floating through the tiny crack. She was too tired to bother with the peephole. "Darien!" The choked whisper left her lips as if she was afraid that a loud noise would make the vision of him disappear. it was nothing but one problem after another. liking the rough feel of it on her fingers. Darien looked incredible. He watched as it grew tight under his gaze. It had gotten longer. Piano strings mysteriously breaking. It made a nice change. She swung the door open and threw herself into his arms. it drove him crazy especially since all he wanted to do was be with Serena. it's been too long!" After he left her in Vancouver.
he pulled back. He was so controlled. She pulled up his shirt and dragged her hands over his bare. nibbling at his lips. "Darien!" His name brought him back to his senses. muscled stomach. He kissed her again. "Serena!" It came out as a harsh whisper. "Darien. She put her finger on his mouth. "Serena. He kissed her neck and nibbled a path to her collarbone. "Serena.. I didn't exactly say no. Grudgingly. Darien caressed her breast through her shirt with his lips. Darien groaned his pleasure. Aware of the feeling of disappointment." His chest was heaving as he fought for a breath. really. Serena caressed his cheek." Serena sat up and tried to steady herself... She blinked a few times then looked at him. He moved his mouth to nibble on her ear and then to trail a path of kisses down her throat. He drew a sharp breath.. He pulled up to look at her. It was inevitable. It felt so good to hold her in his arms again.. He struggled to get his body under control. unable to stop himself... One hand wound itself in her hair while the other found it's way up her T-shirt to gently caress a breast. He hadn't meant to attack her like that. "Serena I missed you so much. "Darien. Serena moaned her pleasure." Serena was confused for a moment. I missed you too." He looked ashamed of himself.what you must think of me." . like nectar." She hugged him and could feel the tension in his body.. we have to. Her eyes were half closed and her smiling lips were swollen with his kisses..72 Chance Encounters the way that the world slanted at a crazy angle." He kissed her again and again. and then realized what they were doing. enjoying her sweet taste. "It's ok Darien. "Darien it's ok. Darien laid her on the bed and joined her there hovering above her.. stop. She ran her hands through his hair and held him to her. If he hadn't stopped. Serena didn't want him to stop. don't do that to yourself. "I'm so sorry I.. She hadn't realised how much she wanted him.." She pulled him down to her and kissed him. What they almost. Darien loved it when she touched him. She tasted sweet. It wasn't only you.
"I needed to see you Serena. laughing all the while." She let him have the bed while she took a couple of blankets and lay on the floor." He had to be kidding." He tried to apologize again." He took off his shirt and jeans and got under the covers. "We barely even got the chance to talk. Serena awoke with the feeling she was being watched. "Ok ok. "You understand right?" . Serena shook her head." "Well you're not too bad yourself you know. "Night Darien. "We haven't even done anything!" He knew how she felt. "No! You can't go already! You only just got here a few hours ago. The night went by so fast it felt like she blinked. "Morning Darien. "Sere. Serena. He pulled her down onto the bed." "You are so incredibly beautiful. I have to go." He kissed her palm. It's been way too long since we've seen each other.." "Why did you bother coming then?" Serena looked at him. "I'm sorry chèrie but I must. He gave her a kiss." She gave him a look that told him she was serious." She stood up. She rolled to her side and found Darien watching her from his perch on the bed. Good night.." She kissed him good night." Her eyes were huge. She let him." Her tone was authoritative.73 Chance Encounters "Chèrie. "Darien. don't. "It's true." He smiled as she blushed. "Come on you must be tired. "Serena you take the bed." Her temper started to flare." He looked guilty now. chèrie. "Darien.
." "This time nothing will stop me." She looked out the window expecting to see daylight.. "I will be back soon chèrie. At this moment Serena was thinking that 'you know' with Darien wouldn't be that bad. She nibbled lightly. He saw the look in her eyes and smiled.74 Chance Encounters She scowled then sighed. She linked her hands behind his neck and kissed him. "Yes." He grinned. "When will you be back?" "Soon. Instead. "You'd better go. Darien. I cannot stay here any longer or else. "Nothing." . "Oh no." He looked pointedly at the bed. the sun was barely up. "Can't you stay a little longer?" She kissed his neck and then turned her attention to his ear lobe. We are not doing anything until you are absolutely sure you are ready. so as you can see. She shivered and looked at him open mouthed." He laughed as he pulled his jeans on again and pulled on a sweater. Before I try and jump you again. "Yeah.you know." He swallowed and stood up pulling Serena up with him. Serena could feel the evidence of his desire against her body. "You don't know what you do to me. It's so unfair though. I do. "Darien what time is it?" She looked over at her clock before he could answer." "You said that last time. "It's not even seven yet!" She looked at him." Unbelievable." She ran her hands through her hair in frustration." He held her against him. "Serena please. Darien moaned.
." Serena took a sip of her ." "Really?" Where is he?" They all looked at Serena's closed door. "Darien came over last night. "Who was here?" Raye's eyes were squinting against the light in the gradually brightening room. Bye Darien. "What do you mean?" She blushed a little. Where were you?" Serena held up envelopes indicating she had been gone getting mail. "He's gone. "Bye chèrie. The girls were awake and roaming when she got back to the suite. Min and Lita's attentions were attracted now." She arched a brow at Serena and grinned." "Ok." She watched as he got into the cab and waved as it sped off. I'll call from the plane. "Methinks Serena had a visitor last night. But she couldn't say them out loud. He had some business to attend to. "Oooh!" "You guys are such a pain!" She sighed." Serena turned to the cupboard and concentrated on getting her mug off the shelf and making coffee. "I love you./i> The words echoed throughout her entire body." I love you too. "Hey Serena. "Did we hear visitor?" They looked at each other than back at Serena. "My room is right up against yours and I could hear your voice plus one last night. She saw that a cab was there waiting for him. He gathered her up in his arms and kissed her.75 Chance Encounters She walked him to the security door at the entrance of the building.
"No." She picked up the letter and envelope and took them into her room. He also apologized for not being able to stay longer. Malachite and I are going as Romeo and Juliet." "How sweet. they sat at the table and drank their coffees. Her name was written on it in Darien's handwriting. Apparently. "I don't know yet I was thinking of just hanging out here and getting some work done. "Well I don't know Chris all that well anyways. "So you're telling us that he flew half way around the planet to spend one night with you and you didn't do anything? Ok. "Why? What are you guys doing?" "Well we were all invited to a party at Chris' house off the hill. Serena walked back out and sat on the couch." She was still reading Darien's letter." Min and Malachite were making goo goo eyes at each other. "You should come." . he wrote it while she was asleep because he talked about how she looked while she was sleeping. It's been a long time since we've seen each other. so I'll just stay here and catch up on some reading or something. putting them back on the desk.76 Chance Encounters coffee. "I don't have a costume so I don't think that I'll go. nothing like that. That's not nothing." She smiled. sure. He just wanted to see me. He wrote about how much he loved her. "So it was just a one nighter eh?" Lita wiggled her eyebrows." "We talked. Her mind changed when she saw an envelope on her desk. "What are you doing for Halloween Sere?" Serena opened up the letter and started reading. you guys will be so cute." She walked to her room and contemplated reading one of the books for a course. That sucks!" She turned back to Min. "Looks like Darien won't be back for a while he's heading to Germany next then Vienna right after. Disappointed that they wouldn't get to meet the amazing Darien le Conte." She finished reading the letter.
"Is she trying to talk you into going to the Halloween party? Min leave her alone. And emerged herself a moment later changed back into her own clothes." Serena changed out of it and handed it to her through the curtain." She moved the painted porcelain mask over her face. complete with a full-faced mask." She started listing everyone that was going and what they were going as. They went through hundreds and hundreds of costumes it seemed. And underneath the right eye was a crystal teardrop. She touched it.77 Chance Encounters "You gotta go! We're all going. It was gorgeous. It had a hooded royal blue velvet cape and matching embroidered ball gown that had a beaded bodice." "Nope. "It's perfect. "This is perfect for you!" said Mina when Serena came out of the changing room." "All you ever think about is work. "I guess we should head back to Rez huh? I've got a paper to finish off. Not until she says she's going. Serena did a couple of turns and looked at herself in the mirror. "Let's go get you a costume then!" They spent the next two hours at the mall looking at costume ideas and trying to decide what to get." Mina smiled. mission accomplished. Don't you want to hang out for a bit longer?" ." "Maybe alright? I might go. Just then Andrew walked in the door. She knew that Serena was as good as there. Around the eyes were vibrant swirls of colour which made a nice contrast to the white. "I like it too." "Wonderful choice Miss. "I'll take this one." The mask was painted white. Serena motioned to the shop assistant. Finally they chose a Venetian Carnevale type costume. Around the mask itself were folds of colourful ribbon.
Have you got yours yet?" "Yup I've got mine and Raye has hers too. You wanna come with?" She handed the money to the cashier. "Yeah I don't have any bus fare on me. Serena picked up the bag and the two girls walked out and headed to the car. "What have you got there?" "It's Sere's costume for the party." "You gotta go!" Andrew rolled his eyes as if to say 'here we go again'.78 Chance Encounters "Nah." Mina looked disappointed that she didn't want to goof around anymore." Seiya was wearing his leather jacket and jeans. I have some labs to finish up. who were all piling into Seiya's car. Later!" "Later!" The girls walked back up to their suite. "Hello ladies." He opened his door and got in. Lita and Raye were there having lunch. I think I'll head back. You're going right?" "Might. "We gotta run. right?" . "Hey there. Not sure yet." "Hi where have you two been?" Lita put down what was left of her sandwich. "We got Serena a costume for the party. "Possibly. If I get my work done by then. Back at the parking lot they ran into the guys. He pointed at the bag.
" They didn't seem to care so Lita and Serena approached the mirrors and put their things down beside the sinks." Replacing the dress. "Leave me alone!" He looked miserable. The guys had a good laugh at his tights. So Serena pulled the costume out of the box and showed everyone the one she just got. "Yup they are. Serena stretched. Later." "Yeah go ahead. "We were wondering if we could borrow your bathroom. Mina went and brought hers out as well. I'll get it." Serena looked at their bathroom and shuddered. "Aww leave the poor guy alone. Andrew and Kyle were dressed as the Three Musketeers and Malachite came out dressed in his Romeo outfit. Knocking on the door they walked in. Before long. The girls were running between mirrors and things were a blur of makeup and powder. Raye and Mina stayed in their bathroom while Serena and Lita went across the hall to see if they could use the guys' bathroom.79 Chance Encounters "Yup. Careful not to touch anything. It was a mess. It got to the point where they had to split up. "Wow! That's beautiful. Seiya. "I think I'll try and finish that paper off now. Like every other night that required a lot of preparation the bathroom was buzzing with energy." Raye and Lita went to get their costumes. This is going to be great. Halloween night was here. He shuffled into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror and grimaced. a beautiful pink Juliet costume. The guys are going too aren't they?" Mina nodded. "Hello?" Anyone home?" They came out of their rooms one by one dressed in their costumes." With that she disappeared into her room. Raye had a Robin Hood costume and Lita had a hippie girl one. they applied their makeup. .
Why don't you just leave it the way it is?" "You guys wouldn't understand. The guys watched." Seiya looked at them "Try us. it can't be better than ours!" The boys did a little swashbuckling routine and bowed. Lita took a playful swipe at him." "Ok. They thought he was being sincere so. "Ok Lita has curly hair and she's trying to straighten it. they did it again. fascinated with the ritual. "And besides it's nice to change your look every now and then. Serena you have straight hair and you're trying to curl it. "You'll just have to wait and see to be dazzled. Sure. did you guys practice that long?" Serena carefully applied her lipstick and smiled. We can understand it." "Ha. It's a girl thing. she could go with an afro but that's not the look that she's going for. for the look that I'm trying to achieve I need slightly curled hair. Lita put a headband on and combed through her hair." Her tone was obviously sarcastic but it was lost on them. "It was wonderful. "Wow. "Ok you were right it's too confusing for us. hoping it looked right. proudly.80 Chance Encounters "So what are you guys going as?" Andrew jokingly tried to flick up their robes. The boys just looked at them confused." She curled another strand. With Lita's outfit she needs straight hair to make it look right. "You do this all the time?" . Serena looked at Lita in the mirror and they shook their heads. Serena pulled out a curling iron and Lita pulled out a straightening iron. Serena pulled her hair up into a high ponytail and arranged a few curly wisps around her face." The guys just looked at them and crossed their eyes. While with my costume." The girls pulled out the hairspray next and started spraying and styling their hair.
" She adjusted her hat. "You guys look great. kay?" "Right. that's why. so that she wouldn't ruin both her hair and the dress. Need any help with that costume of yours?" "I'll yell if I do." "Why?" "To impress dopes like you. She had to wear crinoline and a hoop skirt to keep it full. The full skirt practically filled up the entire floor space of her room. Serena walked past the bathroom in their own suite and noticed that Min and Raye were finishing up their makeup. "Ok. "Is that too tight?" "Nope. We'll be back in a bit. It's fine." "Ok." "So do you. "Can someone help with the laces in the back?" Raye started lacing her up. Carefully she pulled the gown over her head." ." "I know what you mean." They left to put their costumes on. " You look fantastic though. It weighed a ton but it was so gorgeous she didn't care." She held her breath until Raye was done. We're done with this part. They applied the finishing touches. critiqued each other and picked up their stuff. "Thanks. She pulled her arms through the sleeves. Fold after fold the velvet hung forming the voluminous skirt.81 Chance Encounters "Yup. Can you imagine having to wear this sort of thing everyday? I'd go crazy. She put her shoes on and stepped out to the hall. which were tight until they got to the elbow where they opened up and the ornate lace fell loosely." Serena went into her room and took the costume off the hanger." They continued to watch the rest of what the girls were doing.
Already there were cars lined up the street and you could hear the music coming from the house. "So you think I can disappear into the crowd?" "If that's what you want to do then you definitely picked the wrong costume." "Hi Amy. She picked up her mask and held in over her face. I'd better cuz I'm wearing like ten pounds of underwear. "Hey girls! Looking good! I love the costumes." "Thanks. As usual. Seiya just opened the door and walked in. Serena and Raye paired up and wandered through the house talking to people they recognised and met a bunch of new people." Serena fastened the cape around her shoulders and pulled the hood on. "You look incredible. They said their hellos and went and mingled." He bowed and offered his arm. They tried to find their host in the crowd and finally spotted him in the middle of a crowd in the living room. Mina was wearing a pink Elizabethan dress that she obviously loved." Seiya came up behind her. Raye pointed at a girl dressed as Cleopatra coming toward them. It was a girl they knew called Amy who lived in the other Rez. How are you doing?" ." "How do we look?" Lita and Mina came out of their rooms. They all headed for the door. It was evident in the way that she kept picking it up and running the fabric through her fingers." Some how the girls all managed to fit in Serena's car." "Thanks. Lita was wearing an authentic looking hippie outfit complete with furry vest and sandals. "So do you. It was completely packed a mass of colours and sounds. People were everywhere.82 Chance Encounters "Thanks. They followed Seiya to the house. "Shall we go then?" "Yeah let's get going." She joked. "You ladies look wonderful. but instead of knocking. Lita took it. while the boys took Seiya's car.
He just moved up here to work. She pulled out the phone and looked needlessly at the display. How are you?" He paused for a moment. She watched as Raye smiled and shook his hand. non?" "Yes. He turned to her and smiled." Serena's smile faded. How does he do it? Smiling she looked at them. listening. It is Halloween. Serena was feeling quite happy for her friend until she returned pulling someone in a fencing costume behind her. "Darien?" "Serena chérie. "Sorry. She couldn't believe that over three years the anger had not faded one bit. but I am not having that good a time. "This is. I am sorry that I could not be there to entertain you. Amy hardly ever fell for any guy. I have to take this call. "Be right back. and answered the phone. Fortunately for him. I think I see him. She grinned hugely. "You are at a party. Must be love huh?" Serena nudged Raye and they laughed. her small bag began to vibrate. weaving through the crowd.83 Chance Encounters "Great! I did well on my exams and I'm totally in love. She wanted to smack the smirk off his face. The old feelings surfaced again. Grinning widely she stood beside him." ." she nudged him to take off his mask. as she stood wooden. Excuse me. non?" "Yes." Quickly she walked onto the small porch." She disappeared into the tangle of dancing bodies." "Pauvre Serena. "Jeff McCormick. Serena bit the inside of her cheek to keep from making a scene." "Really? Who's the lucky guy? Anyone we know?" "I don't think you would know him." She looked into the crowd.
Raye and Jeff still talking." She looked through the window and saw Amy. I will call soon. Bye!" "Bye." "Of course. Still smiling she walked back into the house. when will you be coming my way again?" She wanted to see him again." "You will go and try to have a good time now ok?" "Ok I'll try. she walked back to Raye. Darien." He could always make her smile. "Perhaps. but I'm not promising anything. That's amazing! What's he like?" Lita came up behind them. Serena. "Like I really need to ask huh? You have the goofy grin again. Je t'aime. nothing. "You have changed your mind?" He sounded hopeful. Feeling a bit saner after the talk with Darien.84 Chance Encounters "What costume are you wearing then?" "I'm dressed up as a woman from the Venetian Carnevale. He asked her to go with ." He sounded like he was smiling." Amy grabbed Serena's arm. "I told you. "Was that Darien?" Raye asked. "Darien. "You know with the masks and capes and things." "And you must be stunning. She said he gave you his own phone so that he could talk to you. "You're going out with that French piano guy on the poster? Raye filled us in." she teased." "Good girl. "I will. If you need me just call and I will be there. You will send me pictures? I want to see how beautiful you look. Amy and Jeff." She hung up the phone. "Going out. Darien.
"Hi.85 Chance Encounters him. Serena nodded stiffly at him. "Yes. "You guys know each other?" Serena smiled as sweetly as she could. "And you guys didn't call me? Argh! Boy would I love to meet that guy. "A long time ago." Amy smiled at Serena as if she had the greatest treasure in the world with her." . She caught Serena's amused look." She stopped and gave Jeff a questioning look. Jeff." Her heavily made up eyes were huge. "Oh did I introduce you to Jeff yet?" Jeff wasn't even listening to the conversation. He was at our place not too long ago." He gave her his most dazzling smile. "Hello. Serena controlled her impulse to hit him and tell Amy what he was really like. he was too busy looking at a group of girls dressed as an assortment of Barbie Dolls. but she turned him down." Lita left out the bit that no one ever saw him besides Serena." "You what? I can't believe you did that! I would have dropped everything and gone with him. Nice to see you. one Serena remembered very well. "Serena. we knew each other in high school. Since when did you start carrying a cell phone?" Amy looked at him. Serena. What did you do after school? You seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. but it's true!" She looked at the figure beside her. Maybe he was different with Amy. She hoped for her sake that he was. "Weren't you listening? Her millionaire French boyfriend gave it to her so that he could talk to her. Talk about yummy!" She grinned and licked her lips. "Sorry Sere. Lita shook hands with him." Jeff smiled at her. "Have the rest of you met him? "Of course.
He looked at her and screwed up his face. "No one important. There were a couple of guys playing bartender. "Having a good time?" "I was until I ran into someone. He waved back and headed over to her. I was heading to the kitchen for a drink. she walked away and headed over to Seiya. "It just wouldn't look right with you drinking out of the bottle. One of the guys opened the fridge and pulled out two beers. Finally after using a mixture of hand signals and a very strange miming technique he managed to get the idea across." "Can we talk about something else?" He shrugged. Didn't work. Seiya tried to shout to be heard." "Thanks." "Whatever. "Excuse me I see someone I want to talk to. Every single time. "Here use this. weaving their way through the crowd. "Two beers!" The guys couldn't hear him. He opened hers for her and handed it to her." They walked into the kitchen." Back rigid and shoulders back. who she saw delighting a group of people with some more of his amusing stories. "Hold on. He handed them to Seiya." He handed her a straw. "Sure I guess. What have you been doing?" "Nothing much. Serena waved at him." He looked into the kitchen and reached around the corner. "I'll come with you." "So who messed up your night?" He took a sip. Why do you always change the subject when the conversation turns to you?" "I do not. As long as you know." .86 Chance Encounters Serena just smiled. want one?" He nodded." "Yes you do.
" She put down her beer untouched on a table. It's just something that happened a long time ago. But seeing him brought it all back and I wasn't ready for it." "Why has he got you so upset?" He put his hand on her shoulder and slowly slid it down to her hand and held it. did he?" his tone got serious. She didn't smile. Wanna go for a walk?" "Yes. want to talk about it?" "No. "He didn't. "No nothing like that. "Fresh air. It's none of your business though." "What makes you say that?" "You look like you want to tear him limb from limb that's why." "I see. that's all. "Curls were a nice choice. She breathed again and looked at Seiya.87 Chance Encounters "My guess is it's that guy that you're looking at with daggers in your eyes." "Huh?" "The person that ticked you off is that guy over there talking to Lita and Raye. She hadn't noticed how suffocating it was in the house until she got outside. "Did he grope you? Want me to go punch him out for you?" He laughed. It was just something horrible that I tried hard to forget. He led her through throngs of people and out the front door." She inhaled deeply." "Old friend?" "Definitely no. not really." ." "Maybe I do. and noticed that he was looking at her. He smiled." "I see.
unfortunately I don't like to talk too much." She tried to stand up. staying out of his reach." "That's nice. He pulled the cape that he was wearing off and put it on the bench in one grand sweeping motion. I'm not letting him do that again. It felt like she was betraying Darien even if she didn't kiss him back. I'm a very good listener you know." She sat down." "I listen to you." "I'm not closed off. Serena hugged herself and kept walking." "Well there are times to talk and there are times you shouldn't. He pulled her back down. She wasn't comfortable with him kissing her." He turned to her and gathered her up in his arms. She went to sit down on the bench but he stopped her. You can't keep yourself closed off forever you know. "There's a park just over here. The park was small but it had a set of swings and a bench and it was well lit. "So now what?" "So now you tell me what's so horrible about that guy. She scowled." "Oh yeah? How come you won't date anyone except for a guy that's half a ." "So you had this all planned out? You brought me here so that I would tell you." "Thanks." He led her down a darkened sidewalk. "Like now is a non talking time. You said curls were what you needed and you were right. "My lady.88 Chance Encounters "What?" "Your hair." He bent down and kissed her cheek. He sat down next to her. "You have to tell someone before you hurt yourself." "You mean you were actually listening? I was just babbling something because I thought you weren't. he pulled away and started walking again. Before she could react.
but heard nothing except light breathing." She walked down the dark sidewalk and back to her car. "I've dated before. "Darien. "Serena! What a surprise!" The light turned green and she sped up the hill to the university. I. Now Jeff's appearance on top of everything! She needed a break." "Why not?" "I don't want to. "Chèrie? Are you all right?" She heard his hand muffle the phone and him telling people to leave. And you say you're not closed off? Ha!" "Not true." "Really? So how come you never talk about him?" "Why should I? We broke up a long time ago.." She got up and arranged her skirts. tires squealing." She did know. she needed to talk to Darien." "You must want to talk about him sometimes. "Now if you're done with the interrogation I'm going home. Darien paused for her to answer. Speeding down the darken streets she could only think one thing. started it and sped away. She had to get away from here before she went crazy. Grabbing her bag." "Never. It was problem after problem on top of classes and assignments and research. you freak out. "Did I interrupt anything?" .89 Chance Encounters world away from you and shows up maybe once a month? Whenever anyone gets close. She got in. No one really knows anything about you. Tell the girls that if they want a ride they can call me and I'll come get them. she searched for the cell phone. She waited while it rang. At a stoplight she pressed a button and dialled up Darien.I don't know why I called.." She stared at him. Good night.
. Serena knew she would have to tell him the truth now but it didn't bother at all. See you soon. I can send Nephlite though." She heard clicking and could only guess that he was checking his schedule on his laptop. "What are you doing in the next few days?" "I have a concert in Vienna in three days but until then I think I am free. I should be able to finish it off in a day or so. Two days it is then. It was about time that she came clean to him. Bye!" "See you soon. She parked her car in her space and turned off the engine. "I must finish off one last essay then I have a week vacation." "I think I'm just worn out. "That is why I am here. So tell me what is troubling you. is that ok? When would you like to leave?" "How does two days sound?" "It is not soon enough but it will have to do." Serena couldn't get into the story just yet. She needed a break from this place for a while and to see Darien." "Fantastique! Hold on. Would you like me to come get you?" He sounded happy." She heard some shuffling papers. "Is something wrong?" "I just wanted to talk to someone. "Great I'll be waiting for him. Darien.90 Chance Encounters "Nothing that can not wait. I will have Nephlite pick you up and he will fly with you to Vienna ok?" It was just so easy. She promised herself that she would tell him about Jeff soon." She took the corners without even slowing down. Je t'aime Serena. Bye!" Smiling she hung up the phone and got out of the car. He had a way of making her forget all of her troubles and she loved talking to him. She locked the door and sighed. She took a deep breath. "Merde! I cannot come I have some interviews to do.
"I just wanted to say that you look beautiful tonight. "Not if my life depended on it. narrowly missing his head. "What do you really want?" She knew the way that he could charm women with a look. I believed you! I was in love with you and I would have done anything for . He kept up with her. Serena spun around and found Jeff standing in front of her. "And you ruined it! How could you do that to me? You claim to love me! And stupid little me. "Leave me alone." He looked into her eyes earnestly. I have nothing to say to you." "Nice night isn't it?" "Yes and I want to keep it that way so please leave me alone." Her skirts swished around her as she practically ran up the stairs. remember who you're talking to. "Ha! Right!" She opened the door and walked in. and she also knew when he wanted something. "Can I at least come in?" They stopped in front of the suite door.91 Chance Encounters "Was that you're boyfriend?" Startled. He banged on the door. I know you. a word. He followed. "What do you want?" She pushed past him and walked up the path to the Rez. blocking off the door with herself. She didn't know whether to laugh at him or to hit him. Serena turned and kept walking. She turned to him. There was no way that she was going to let him into her new life. And right now he definitely wanted something. "I want to get back together with you." The door swung open. "No." She nodded at the spot he was standing in. "No." Serena stopped dead and looked at him." She slammed the door in his face." Serena eyed him cautiously. He didn't answer. a smile. You can say whatever you want to say here. "We were good once! I need you! We're good together.
but I do. I gave you everything! Everything! Two years we were together and right after we... "Is everything that you said true?" "Yes." He didn't pay any attention.we.92 Chance Encounters you. That's terrible what he did to you." Before Serena knew what was going on." Her voice was dangerously quiet. hard. "I don't think you want to do that." He began to understand where she was coming from. No wonder she didn't let herself get close to anyone. He was still trying to register what was said. "You shouldn't have done that!" He wiped the blood from his lip and stumbled off." He dropped him in front of the door to the stairs." He took her hand apologetically. She backed away. but he grabbed her arm. . She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence. Seiya picked him up and dragged him down the hall. everyone else in the entire school knew before I did. "Well I'm not one anymore!" Shaking his hand off. Now that I'm finally getting on with my life he jumps back into it and tries to drag it to hell again. She drew her other arm back to punch him. "And to top it all off. I dated that pig and it ended very badly and for a very long time I hated men. Is that what you wanted to hear? Happy now?" "Of course not.. "I can handle myself alright? I don't need you to rescue me. That must have been a terrible thing to go through." she choked. she turned to walk back into her room. ok? Now you know. "Don't ever show you're face here again.." His eyes glittered angrily. He walked to her and tried to give her a hug. "Let go of me. "No. Serena turned to Seiya. Jeff was on the ground. I had to find out from Dave! It was so humiliating!" "I was an idiot. "I find out you've been cheating on me for months and that you've left me for some stupid girl!" She gritted her teeth.
93 Chance Encounters "I need to get this dress off it weighs a ton. practically dragging the dress behind her. Several minutes later she came back dressed in her usual relaxation clothes. She sat down across from him. Then she headed down the hall trying to untie the back of her dress as she went. I'm not going to slit my wrists or anything. her sweats. Seiya grabbed the whistling kettle and filled her mug. In the kitchen she filled the kettle and turned it on." She couldn't hide the venom in her voice. "It's definitely nice to get it off though. He took off his cape and draped it over the back of the chair and picked up the forgotten hat off the floor and put it on the couch. . It was obvious that she was still totally infuriated. Her eyes widened and she clutched the fabric before it slid too low." She lifted her arms and let him work on the ties. Serena released a frustrated breath and gave in. He brought it with him to the table and sat down and waited for her to come back. Seiya followed." She inhaled and took in the first full breath of the entire night. trying not to get knocked over as she stomped past him. You don't have to hang around you know. "Raye did. Her make up was still on and her hair was still done. As for the breathing question I managed all right I think. the sweats did not do her any justice. Continuing like he wasn't even there. she pulled out her favourite mug and put a tea bag in it." She took another breath and the bodice slipped. It looked a little strange on her after seeing her in the elegant dress. "Be right back!" she rushed off into her room. She looked at him. "Could you just relax? I know what happened so you don't have to act all tough anymore ok? Why don't you just let me help?" Serena reached behind her and was trying to loosen the ties but Raye did them too tight." She walked back into the room and kicked her shoes off. "Who did this? And how are you breathing?" He tugged at them and slowly got them to loosen. "Fine but just loosen them ok? And if I catch you smiling I'll punch you out. "Thanks. Seiya undid it for her as she stormed past.
Seiya and Serena looked at each other and the door swung open again. "He should have learned the first time. She picked it up and took a sip. Malachite ran to Mina's door and started banging on it. She looked at him sideways. Malachite was dancing with this girl at the party. she ran out and it's a total mess. Serena stopped them. I'm use to handling things on my own. Anyways someone mentions how good they were together. "Come on Min. "I know you can take care of yourself. "I'm sorry for being so nasty to you. We really care for you and you can trust us. "Is it me or is it a little chilly in here? Seiya got up and looked at the thermostat he fiddled with the dial and sat back down. You know that. Or it could have been because Mina slammed open the door at just the same moment." Cupping her hands around the mug she shuddered. it felt like the whole building shuddered. Serena and Seiya crept out the door and into the hall. "Wonderful Rez heating never works. I saw the way that you were going to deck that guy. "Where did you guys go?" Raye shook her head. Crying hysterically she ran into her room and slammed the door." He banged on the wall. I know you're just trying to help." There was no answer." He smiled at her. emphasis on the word were. but it's not always enough. "It was last time." Seiya laughed. Please. Raye and Lita ran up the hall. Anyways. "Whatever. and Mina freaks out.94 Chance Encounters "Is this mine?" He nodded." "You don't have to though." "Some people just don't learn that easily. You have all of us. open up. Turns out she was an old girlfriend and Min's all insecure. they fought. "Please! Come on! Let me explain!" As quietly as they could." Serena sighed and took another sip." . just like the rest of this place. "You mean you hit him before?" She nodded. But really I'm ok. "What's going on?" They stopped. nothing horrible just dancing not even touching.
drink some coffee and . She pulled her sleeve back down. Seiya looked as mad as she was." She shrugged and sat down on the couch. Serena and Seiya looked. He decided to follow me home and try to talk me into going out with him again. "Oh no you're not. Serena walked to the door and opened it. "Does it have anything to do with that guy at the party? "Yeah. I've had worse before." She was still worked up over the incident with Jeff and needed to vent her frustration somehow. Haven't you had enough today? Why don't you just hang out and relax with us. Raye and Serena rolled their eyes. he grabbed my arm. we took care of it." The girls turned to her. Serena got up. You shouldn't worry about me." She slumped on the couch. "It's all right. "I said no." She felt her temper rising again. Seiya punched him now he's gone. "What happened?" Raye sat down next to her. We'll watch a movie." She sighed. "Serena what happened to your arm?" Lita pointed at her arm that was exposed when she pushed her sleeves up. It didn't end too well with us in high school. Maybe we should leave them alone for a while. Her arm had turned into an ugly collage of purples and blues. "Nothing.95 Chance Encounters "Oh man." They headed over to the boys' room. "Jeff is my ex. "Is that why you guys disappeared? You were in a fight or something?" Lita went to Seiya. She gave him an accusing look. Seiya walked over and closed it before she made it through. Like that is ever going to happen. "Are you all right?" "Yeah I'm fine." "You're so brave!" Lita beamed at Seiya. "I'm going to the gym. forcing herself to calm down she followed Seiya into the room with the girls following behind her. it's Serena that the loser was after.
One by one the girls came out of the rooms and looked at them." Andrew gave his girl a cuddle." The girls agreed. They walked in and looked down the hall. "I'll explain. The guys just stood open-mouthed staring at the half dressed girls coming out of their rooms. No shouting. The . they won't mind. peeked around the corner and looked down the hall. The girls were too tired to argue. It was obvious that they had no clue why the girls were there in the first place. Lita took Malachite's and Serena took Kyle's. placed the blanket over him and left. "I guess you guys are my guests for the night. Andrew and Kyle were back. Since Kyle and Andrew aren't back yet we can assume they won't be for the rest of the night and Malachite obviously won't be using his room so you guys can crash in their rooms. At around 4am they decided to go and check on Mina and Malachite. For the next few hours they sat around and talked about nothing.96 Chance Encounters chill out. The girls that they were with did not look impressed with Serena and the others. The next morning they were waken by shouting in the kitchen. The girls looked happier knowing that they weren't girlfriends. Feeling sorry for him they grabbed a cushion and blanket off the couch. Quietly they snuck in the door. Seiya came out of his room." Seiya pointed at the rooms. She let herself be led back to the couch and sat down again. "Want some?" Serena. They put his head on the cushion. Ok?" The guys shrugged." Hesitantly they headed over and opened the door slightly. Probs across the hall with the happy couple. The girls needed a place to stay so I offered your rooms. Lita and Raye smiled at the girls and said hi. Malachite was asleep against the wall outside of Mina's room. Raye took Steve's room. and they had girls with them. "Nah we'd better see if he coast is clear over there. "I was just making these lovely ladies some breakfast. watching action and comedy films.
" Raye rummaged through the fridge looking for something to make. When?" She mopped them up with her napkin. it needs quite a bit of work still." She sipped her coffee. "Really? Cool!" Lita's mouth was still full and pieces of omelette hit the table. they could only assume that he was in Min's room with her. "Yeah. What are you doing?" "Darien is sending one of his men to pick me up and take me to meet him in Vienna. "So what is everyone doing on the break?" She asked between mouthfuls of omelette. "How about you guys?" "I'm going home.97 Chance Encounters cushion was abandoned. "I'm heading home." Lita handed her the frying pan and began washing up the left over dishes from last night. I should get going." She looked over at Serena. She settled on several eggs and cheese. "Tomorrow. she must have." She sipped her coffee. "Oops. "I miss mom and dad. "She must have taken him back huh?" Serena filled the kettle." said Raye." She tried not to sound too pretentious. she could hear the girls asking. they went to the kitchen and made breakfast. Happier that they had made up. They belong together." As Serena balanced her food and wandered down the hall. I can't go if I don't." Said Lita. I know it sounds corny. "I miss my horse. Raye followed moments later with the omelettes and they all sat down and had a nice breakfast. "Anyone up for an omelette?" "Yeah sure. Since he was nowhere in sight and he hadn't returned to his own room. Serena made coffee for everyone and brought them to the table. "Can we come with you?" . "You're quiet. "I hope I get the essay done. Sorry.
" Serena's generosity was astounding. "Do you want to go to the gym for a bit?" He spoke slowly and distinctly like he was talking to someone who didn't speak the language all that well. We don't want to intrude. She went back a few lines and rewrote a few words. "Hard at work I see." she imitated him. "just for a little while though. A little while later she joined him in the front room dressed in shorts and a . Go and wait in the living room while I change ok?" "You mean I can't stand here and watch?" Laughing he ran out of the room as she threw pillows at him. Over the next three hours she typed madly and only stopped a couple of times to think of a way to articulate what she was thinking and then continued typing. if you're serious. "No. It would be fun. "Sorry. Here she was about to go to a foreign country to meet with her boyfriend whom she hasn't seen much of in months and she was welcoming them along. The turned her computer monitor on and read what she had written beforehand. How long have you been there?" She was still reading a book while she was talking to him. She put the food in her lap and opened the book on top of the stack on her desk. she didn't even notice there when someone walked into the room behind her. We're just kidding." She sat at her desk and kept the door open so she could talk to them still. finding Seiya standing there smiling. "Ok. what did you say?" She just realised that he was talking to her again. She took a swing at him. She had read some of it earlier and marked off pages that were of use to her. You really want to come along?" She was sincere in wanting them to come along. I'll ask Darien. making it sound better and then continued on remembering where she had left off. "Alright but you can come along on the next one if you like. Serena was on a role and when she got going it was hard to stop." "Yeah. I think I deserve a little break.98 Chance Encounters "Sure. She felt the presence and turned around.
Serena was quick. "Just in case. "Yup and you do too from what I've seen. Nodding. "You're on.99 Chance Encounters T-shirt. Seiya was impressed. Easily he dodged a couple blows but she caught him off guard from the other side with a swift kick. which surprised Seiya since she looked deceptively frail. Seiya did the same. "Hey you're right. I had a brainstorm. But I'm ready now. Serena sat down and took off her shoes and socks. "Show me what you got. "You gotta relax a bit!" They walked down to the gym. They stood up and faced each other. her size was an advantage for her." Serena revealed a notebook and pen concealed in her jacket." They walked in the room and saw that it was free. She was light on her feet and she could make her kicks hurt. "Wanna spar?" "Sure if you're not afraid of a little girl whipping your butt. He had to keep on his toes to avoid getting hit." He hit her playfully on the shoulder." They picked up their stuff and headed over to an empty gym. "Here you might find your balance will be better if you hold your shoulders like this. Seiya made it look easy. "Ready?" She nodded." He took off his coat." He shook his head. "What took you so long?" "Sorry. His powerful kicks were almost too hard to block and his punches were solid. You know Tae Kwon Do?" She looked up at him. She did the same and started practicing her kicks and punches on the bag." He adjusted her shoulders and she tried it. They bowed and it began. "The girls tell me you're pretty handy with the punching bag. His height made it a bit hard for her to get into him but she managed to connect a couple of times. Somehow she managed to . Thanks. He grabbed her leg and took her down." She wiggled her eyebrows.
spins and kicks. But that quickly changed when they found the girls sitting in the living room looking unhappy." He grimaced when he touched a tender spot on his ribcage. They hit the ground with a thud." She put her socks and shoes back on. "We should get you back to your paper. "It's Min and Malachite. "Are you alright?" "Yup. they sat down on the floor gasping for breath and laughing. "They didn't make up. most of her was under him. "Yeah I guess. "Race ya!" and took off out the door and up to Rez. "I haven't had this much fun in such a long time. "Thanks. He left sometime last night and no one knows where he is." She grinned." And they started again in a frenzy of jumps. "You've got a very hard kick." She walked out the door." Serena's smile faded." she smiled. you're aren't exactly weak either.100 Chance Encounters grab him and take him down with her." He stood up. "I feel great. She's sorry that she went off the deep end and wants to apologize but she can't find him anywhere. Laughing Seiya followed behind." Lita whispered. He tried not to land too hard. You have no idea how hard it is to find a sparring partner. An hour later. while he rubbed his arm." she nodded toward Mina's room." Serena rubbed a sore spot on her leg. . She's in there calling everyone she can think of right now. "What's the matter you guys?" Serena was worried at how they looked. "I know. They were laughing when they ran through the door of the girls' suite. "Again?" "You bet.
"He's probably out letting off some steam." Serena sat down on her bed and motioned for him to sit on the chair. he'll be alright. The rest of the girls sat down beside her and hugged." He didn't look happy.. "Why couldn't I just believe him? It's all my fault! He could be hurt or something. We're all worried sick!" Lita stared out the window." Was all anyone could say. Lita and Raye nodding indicating that they would look after her. "That's good news isn't it?" She looked at him. "Tell me. "What's the matter?" She could see that something was wrong by the way that his brow was set. He went to the bar last night and got completely smashed." "I don't like the sound of this." All anyone could do was watch her shuddering shoulders and say encouraging words but they didn't help at all. "No one has seen him?" Serena sat down with the girls. "Can we talk?" She got up slowly looking at Mina. "Where was he?" "According to a friend." . Seiya came back into the room and looked at Mina. "Any luck?" She shook her head while tears streamed down her face. don't worry. She sat down on the couch and put her head in her hands. "We'll find him. who just came out of her room. Than moved back and looked at her helplessly as she cried." He tapped Serena on the arm. Then he went over to his ex's." He walked out of the suite.101 Chance Encounters "Shit!" Seiya looked worried. "Why didn't you tell Mina?" "I don't think she wants to know where I found him." "I found him. "I'll go call around. Serena led him to her room. "Nope." Serena looked over at Mina. "He'll be ok..
" Serena put her hand to her mouth." Her voice was dull. "It will have to do. He wouldn't do that to her. She was gripping the side of her seat so hard that her knuckles were white." Seiya dragged Serena to his car." He shook his head and ran his hands through his hair. "I'll drive." She nodded." "Well I called her up. "We can always say that we have to pick up someone or that we promised to drive someone down or something like that." She got up.102 Chance Encounters "Oh my god. Let's go. "I guess we should go get him. . "Kaitlin. "Don't know. They got out and knocked on the door. when I'm driving. He loves her too much. You know me and the whole control issue. "That jerk!" she got up and started pacing. "What are we going to tell Min? She'll be crushed." He looked over and laughed. "What's her name anyway? I still don't know. Seiya saw the shadow come over her face. "Hey. "He didn't. calm down." She shut her eyes as he took another corner." Lamely they made their excuses to the girls and ran to their cars." "Yeah right." "Yeah I guess." She remembered how she felt when it happened to her. so I guess they did. "What's the matter don't like a little speed?" "Sure. They jumped in and they sped to the girl's house. He slowed down and she opened her eyes to see a little house at the bottom of a cul de sac. "How are we going to get past them?" She jabbed her thumb in direction of the living room." he looked thoughtful." Serena clutched the handle of her door as he took a corner. And her roomie answered and she said that they were still asleep.
"Malachite! It's Seiya." She paused in front of a mirror and toyed with her hair. "Magic. Malachite ran his hand through his hair and for a moment." Serena looked at the yard and had to admit that she liked it. where's Malachite?" She stepped back from the door and let them in. Serena could see a girl in bed and looked away. "Hi Seiya. "I was so frustrated that I left and . they were wrinkled but they were still on him. "How'd you guys find me?" His voice was hoarse. they could be a while." She pulled up her towel a bit.103 Chance Encounters "Cute house." Serena couldn't make herself sound nice. expecting one. obvious in what she was suggesting." His voice was quiet." He stopped. Krissy was still eyeing Serena. It didn't look like anyone cared for it in a while. he was still fully clothed. "How could you do that to Mina? You have a fight and then run out on her with your ex. "Sere. He was squinting and his hair was everywhere. on the other side was a tall dark haired girl in a towel. The door opened. "Hi. what are you doing here?" She smiled brightly at him but it faded when she saw Serena. Seiya ignored her and went straight to a door and started pounding on it. "Krissy. He looked terrible. "You're welcome to wait. Malachite opened the door a bit more seeing the both of them." Seiya put a hand on her shoulder. but remember it is Malachite and Kaitlin. it looked like he didn't remember what had gone on the night before. Thankfully." He looked at Malachite. though it was a bit worse for wear. which was the reason you were fighting the first place. "We were fighting and it seemed hopeless. "He's in with Kaitlin. "I'm sure he has a good explanation. Serena pulled him out into the hall. Open up!" Moments later the door opened. I was banging on the door until I fell asleep and when I woke up I tried again. Serena just nodded amused at the display she was putting on." She said.
And that's all we did all night. "You should. I definitely needed to talk. "Well yeah it looks bad!" Seiya cut in. The guys didn't seem to notice ." Then he stopped and his eyes widened. I don't think I would believe it either. Serena rolled her eyes." Serena stared him down. A breeze blew her towel open slightly. "We stayed up all night talking him through it. Kaitlin's fiancé. "I'm Dan. it's the truth isn't it?" Serena felt better." "Who are you?" Serena glared at him as well. He'd had way more than a few drinks. Kaitlin and I remained friends after we broke up. I wouldn't do anything like that to her." "I don't believe you. "I'm sorry I didn't believe you. Malachite almost toppled over. Serena walked over to Malachite and gave him a hug." Serena snorted." She held the door open.104 Chance Encounters walked to the bar at the bottom of the hill. She said to come to her if I ever needed to talk. "This must look so bad. I had a few drinks. Krissy was still in a towel. She got in the front passenger seat." He rubbed his temples. So I got here and talked. "You better take him back to his woman so they can make up. Seiya led them out to the front door. "Oops!" she giggled and shut the door." Seiya nodded. "Do you think Min's going to believe me?" "I'm sure she will. Yeah like oops I didn't throw myself on him enough. "And I found my way over here. "You're sure." He gave Malachite a playful punch in the shoulder." He grinned at Serena and Seiya." "Of course I am." He closed his eyes." "It's ok." A tall mousy haired guy came out of the kitchen. I love Min. "Bye Seiya. "He's telling the truth.
"I was just packing as a matter of fact." "Stop teasing. Of course I haven't changed my mind. Smiling. "Hope they work things out huh?" Serena nodded. chèrie. "Yeah." She stretched. She picked the cell phone off the desk and answered. "Later!" "Bye!" Serena went into her room and sat down at the computer. Back at Rez. it still needs some work." She smiled to the phone." "Yeah I have some things to do too. Malachite got in the back and Seiya took his seat. She sincerely hoped that they would work things out. "I just called to see if you had changed your mind. So instead of beating her brains out over the paper. Suddenly. She shut her eyes and held on as he sped them back up to the university." He punched her in the shoulder and walked off." She walked over to her closet and scanned her clothes. Good things I hope. I'm looking forward to seeing you again." He laughed. her phone rang. She scanned her room trying to find something interesting to stare at and her eyes came to rest on her duffel bag on the shelf in her closet. Malachite headed straight for Min's room. They were pretty good together. What's the weather over there like right now?" . She tried staring out the window hoping that the trees would give her some inspiration but nothing came to her. "Serena. She would get to see Darien again and get away from this place. I was just thinking about you. "Darien. The trip! In all the confusion she almost forgot about it. she pulled down the large bag.105 Chance Encounters Krissy's little accident. but couldn't think of anything to add to it. she decided to pack for her trip tomorrow. She read the paper over several times. Serena and Seiya walked up at a more leisurely pace. I should get back to my paper. They will.
I'll bring some of my own clothes. Sound ok to you?" "Perfect as always. "Sorry chèrie but I must get going I have another interview in a few moments. Serena." "Oui." She giggled. especially by me. Serena had her head in the closet and was sorting through what she would bring." Her tone was light." "Ok then so I'll pack a couple dresses for your concerts and some casual clothes for sightseeing. Darien. Vienna is very beautiful and has many things to offer." "Ok if you say so." He paused to look out the window of his hotel room." There was a knock on his end. je t'aime. "So what are we going to be doing?" "I have a couple of concerts while we are here but after that I am all yours. "Some days are nicer than others but I would say to bring a varied selection. There was a knock at the door. Serena heard some mumbling and then she heard Nephlite's voice shout hello. tossing to possibilities onto the bed." She heard a click and the line went dead. Bye!" "Bye. Or we can just go shopping when you get here.106 Chance Encounters "It is not very warm. You shouldn't spoil me like that. . "You should be spoiled. "Why not? You deserve it." "Hi Nephlite!" she shouted into the phone. She put the phone on the desk and plugged it into the charger that Darien sent not long after he left the first time." Lita and Raye walked in." She could hear him shuffling papers. "Nephlite says hi. "Come in. "Ok I'll talk to you later then." "Oh no." He was laughing. We can tour the city. He did know how to make her laugh.
" Serena looked over her shoulder and noted the strange looks. By the time they were done. "We'll just hide in here for a while if that's ok with you. "Tell me what you think about this outfit." "Yeah sure. "Looks like the coast is clear. Cautiously." They shook their heads and she hung it back up. Serena opened the door and the three girls strained to hear anything." "Oh. She printed it and stapled it and read it through another time to make sure it sounded alright and that everything was there and in order. "Do you think we can go out yet?" It had been an hour since the girls came into the room. "What's wrong? Are they fighting again?" Raye smiled and wiggled her eyebrows. "No. she finished the paper. Lita went through the pile on her bed and started folding." She continued slinging clothes onto the bed. Raye started sorting through her shoes picking out what would go with what outfit. Still hearing nothing they relaxed and sat down on the couch. Proudly she walked out of her ." They talked for little while longer and then split up to finish off work.107 Chance Encounters "Hey there. "Yup. Hearing nothing they walked out to the living room." Not sure what to do. packing for the trip?" They sat down on the bed. the bag was stuffed full with just about everything everyone could need for a week." They nodded. you can help me pack. loudly. she turned on her stereo. "Yeah. "Or do you think we should leave?" They shook their heads. An hour and much swearing later." Serena looked at them both. "Quite the opposite really.
"We're just. Twenty-two pages of pure genius. kinda going out sorta thingy. "You got it!" Happy that it was finally done. "Well yeah. works cited and cover page." She still had her face in her mug. Serena brought theirs out and put them on the table and went back in to retrieve hers.. . complete with contents. Uh. They sat at the table. "Are you guys serious?" Je t'aime. Serena went and made herself a coffee. "Look it's finally done. "Are you giddy when you talk to him on the phone? Does he make you laugh? Are you attracted to him?" Mina flicked a finger for each thing she listed. "You're embarrassed! Oh my god Serena Cole is embarrassed about something!" "Am not! It's just that I don't like to talk about myself.108 Chance Encounters room and showed Raye and Lita." "With time." "Great! I have no idea how you can possibly write twenty-two pages of anything." "You'd have to be dead not to be attracted to him!" Raye started getting into it too now. Have you looked at him?" Serena thought about his looks and smiled. Serena grinned sheepishly. "So are you guys together?" Mina was still smiling." Her face went red and she tried to hide it by drinking out of her mug. Serena. Serena laughed. "And yeah to the rest of that too. "So what's with you and Darien?" Lita looked over at Serena. "Anyone want one?" Raye and Mina nodded. patience and lots of fluff right Sere?" Mina came out of her room smiling..
." Serena smiled." She waved her paper. I wonder what he was doing? Serena shook her head and got off on the fourth floor. "You've all noticed?" She blushed again. Serena woke when there was a knock at the door. Sere. It opened up and several people filed out. Serena smiled and stood up and finished off the last bit of her coffee. "Yeah we are. I'd say that you were together. "Nice to hear you finally admit it!" she laughed. She stopped to read some of the posters and finding nothing of interest decided to return to Rez. "I'll be back in a bit.109 Chance Encounters "Do you guys talk all the time about everything?" "Yeah." "And now you're going with him to a foreign country. tired from the day. "I have to go hand it in now. He looked at her and turned away. She didn't pay any attention to him and got on the elevator along with some other people. She walked past the secretaries' desks and down a hall lined with information posters and office doors. To be honest I think I'm in love with him. She pushed the button on the elevator and waited. At her room. "Who wouldn't? It's pretty obvious. Walking through the Wintergarden. She stopped off at the appropriate door and put her paper in the folder marked with her class number on it." She threw on her coat and walked to the Library building where the Art Department Professors had their offices. Lita stood up. "You've noticed?" They all nodded. She headed back the same way she came." It was kind of liberating to say it out loud." Min patted her on the back. she saw some people she knew and stopped to say hi. Serena lay on her bed and fell asleep. including Jeff.
"Yeah. The guys came over just as they sat down. "I think you should start paying Raye for her catering services. Andrew and Kyle were from the same town and were taking the bus back. Malachite got up and went to the fridge. "Don't you guys feed that boy?" He nodded.110 Chance Encounters "Serena? You want something to eat? Dinner's done." Serena smiled. They laughed and talked about the day and what they were going to do on their vacations. They all agreed that Serena had to take plenty of pictures of everything she and Darien did. it was 6:30. She's the one who slaved over the hot stove to make that." She got up and opened the door. Lita was happy about that. "Quit it! I'm a growing boy. "Thanks. "Have you got anything to eat?" Mina got up and fixed him up with some leftovers. Lita looked over at Seiya. "They are so loud! It drove me so nuts last night I actually threw my pencil ." Mina sat down beside him smiling. They said their good byes in case they didn't see each other in the morning. Raye was driving home and was leaving first thing in the morning. but all the food on Rez couldn't fill him up. He simply nodded still shovelling food into his mouth. At around ten they all decided to make it a day since most of them were leaving in the morning. Malachite wasn't going anywhere and Seiya was driving south to visit some friends. well almost everything. "Hello ladies!" They walked in a single file into the room. Serena sat up and looked at the clock." She and the girls sat down to a chicken casserole a la Raye. "All the time. Without asking they sat down on the floor and watched with them. They clean up after dinner and watched some TV." Malachite sat on the floor and dug in. They exchanged hugs and well wishes and went to their respective rooms. you know." Raye asked through the door. All except for Min and Malachite who opted to stay in his room tonight. Mina and Lita were leaving on an afternoon flight.
They laughed. "I hope it's not too early." "Yeah well I have to get up early so I think I'll call it a night. "G'night." She ran her hands through her hair. But I wasn't expecting anything this early anyways. "Hey need a hand?" Raye smiled gratefully." Serena took one strap and she took the other and they managed to carry to bag down to her truck. trying to be as quiet as she could." "You too!" She gave Serena a sly wink. drive careful and all that stuff ok?" "Take care. "Yup. "Nope not yet. "Yeah that'd be great. okay?" They hugged and Raye got into the truck. Serena woke up to a scraping sound in the hall. Satisfied that everything was in order she went to sleep. "Did it work?" Serena hid behind Raye when Lita glared at her. In the hall was Raye. Have a good trip. Have fun. She made another check of the stuff she was bringing. The next morning. She got up to go see what it was. "Sorry!" They all laughed.111 Chance Encounters bag at the wall to shut them up." Raye walked to her room. "Later!" Serena got to her room and sat down on her bed. "Don't know yet." Serena gave her a hug. So any calls yet?" Serena shook her head. She looked in her purse for her passport and wallet. dragging her bag down the hall. he's going to call when he gets here. See ya when I get back. "So when is Darien sending that guy to get you?" Raye stretched her arms. waved and . Which she moved up to Rez court for easier loading. "Thanks." Serena looked at her watch.
" She looked down the hall." He rolled his eyes." Lita didn't look too upset though. He gave her a hug. "Are the guys gone?" She headed across the hall to find out for herself. "I know. "I will." "Hey. don't worry. "Coffee?" Serena nodded.112 Chance Encounters drove off. "Hey there. Their room was a mess as usual Serena looked around and noticed bags piled by the couch. where have you been?" "Just helped Raye get her bag down to the truck. "Hey." He nodded. In the kitchen she found Lita making a coffee." "Is she gone now?" "Yeah. Serena knew that look." "Just be careful ok? It's starting to get icy you know." She smiled at him. Serena jogged back up to Rez and up to the suite. "Let me guess. Not gone yet?" "Nope neither are you I see. they're loud?" . "Hello?" Seiya came out of his room. "Take care of yourself ok?" He looked down at her. "The rest of the guys gone?" "Yup except for Malachite. I prefer to drive at night. When are you leaving?" "Not 'til later this after noon." "I wanted to say good bye.
. "Coming over for some coffee?" He laughed.." He pulled back.. coffee?" She unconsciously started fiddling with her hair.. "Serena. . Just make sure you omit certain details." He smiled at her and followed her into the girl's suite." He winked. I remember. "I want to hear all about it when you get back. "Friends?" "The best." Serena laughed. "Hi Seiya.." She looked at him. Mina came into the room looked at them at the table and walked into her room without a word. He ignored her look. You could hear Andrew and Kyle cursing them this morning." She wiggled her eyebrows." He grabbed her arm and stopped her. since we are here to study and not for. You know that night at the fire. "Yes." "Seiya." "Maybe it's best that we forget about it. Serena was relieved that the whole situation was sorted. about.." He laughed." They hugged." He stopped and took a breath. ok?" "You too. Serena looked at Seiya and raised her eyebrows as if to say 'See? She likes you'. "Thanks." She poured him a mug and they sat down at the table. She didn't know what to say. well I want you to be happy. They really should insulate the walls better." she stopped.. It seemed like eons ago. But not too good.what happened.extra curricular activities. Now she wouldn't feel guilty whenever she saw Lita with Seiya. "I see how happy you are with Darien and. "Same problem with us. "Sure. "None of us got any sleep.113 Chance Encounters "Let me tell you. "Why I'm here.. But I bet they won't. "Take care and have a good time.
." He joked.. "She's a bit sensitive huh?" Lita whispered." His voice was a whisper. how are you?" Just hearing his voice brought a smile to her face. Je t'aime. Remember where we left off ok?" Damn reporters! ." "Me neither. "I can't wait. They are getting to be such a pain. Serena shivered with delight she couldn't wait to see him again.114 Chance Encounters Serena looked at Seiya.. How are you?" "I'm good." "Je t'aime aussi." "Serena. Lita was about to say something else but Serena heard the cell phone ringing." The words just rolled off her tongue." She heard knocking on the door." Serena shook her head. They nodded. "I just called to tell you that Nephlite should be there by about four o'clock. "Hold that thought. "I guess she heard you guys complaining. "Merde! They are here. "Je t'aime." His voice was hoarse. Darien. There was a long pause. "Say it again. now that I'm going to see you in a few hours. "We will talk soon. Darien. "I have to go I have another interview. I told him to come and get you himself. "Darien?" "Hello chèrie. "Great." Serena ran down the hall to answer the phone. Serena." She smiled looking at her bag." "I'm so excited!" Serena started hopping up and down. so you can expect him at your doorstep ok?" "Ok I'll be waiting.
She said it so easily to him. "You? I have to spend an hour on the plane with her." "Bye.115 Chance Encounters "Yes." She went to her room." Lita grabbed a fork and faked stabbing herself. so was that Darien?" Serena nodded grinning broadly. talk to you later. chèrie." Lita got up." "Bye Darien." He gave her a hug and left. "I gotta go double check I have everything. Lita and Seiya looked at each other and smiled. she went through the entire suite and cleaned as much as she could. "We leave in an hour. "Not to mention the trip to the airport." She hung up. Seiya shrugged. It's going to be agonising. Mina came out of her room and walked past them and out the door again." Serena couldn't believe that Mina was acting this way. isn't that cute?" Serena rolled her eyes at them." Lita rubbed her arm and pouted. Then. "Hey. she'll get over it. So I'll see ya before you leave ok?" "Alright. Wandering around her room she checked the thermostat adjusting it to keep the room warm. She moved her plants to the bathroom and filled the bathtub part way to keep them watered. "Ok that's starting to bug me. . still rubbing her arm." Seiya punched her arm. "I guess I should be getting ready. I will." "Hey. "She's just mad. "Awww. Serena walked back to the front room. She couldn't believe it herself.
Satisfied that she would be comfortable for the long trip she sat and watched TV waiting for Nephlite to arrive. That's very nice. "Thank you. she didn't wish them a good flight because it was obvious that it wouldn't be one. Serena fixed him a coffee and brought it over to him. On the other side was a tired looking Nephlite." He shook his head incredulously. "Can I take . "No we should get going. she got a knock on the door. as he finished the mug off he seemed to wake up and become more alert." He smiled at Serena. Serena hugged them before they left and wished them a good vacation." He slumped down on the chair. Darien sent his plane. you look like you could use it. it was three o'clock and Mina and Lita were long gone. An hour and a half later. Mina didn't appear to be wanting to talk to Lita any time soon. "Yes. "Hello Serena. From what it looked like. You are all he talks about. but you're not." Serena grinned looking as happy as she felt. We'd better get going though. "I can't wait to see him either. "Are you sure you're alright now? Do you want any more coffee? Some breakfast?" He shook his head. half way through Oprah's interview with Brad Pitt. Slowly. we have a long trip ahead and Darien is going crazy as it is. Are you ready to go?" He rubbed his eyes. "That's better. She turned off the TV and quickly walked to the door and answered it. He has missed you so much. "Yes." He looked around for her bags. She then showered and got dressed in jeans and a white fitted shirt and left her hair down. though neither of them looked happy about leaving together." She pulled him into the room and sat him down on the couch. "He is so glad that you decided to come over." "Jet?" Serena assumed that they would be taking a commercial flight. Besides we can get some on the jet." "It's no problem. "I'll make you some coffee." Quickly.116 Chance Encounters By the time she was finished.
"Don't look so shocked. it seems Darien isn't the only one going crazy. Nephlite led her down to Rez court to a long black limo. the . "Nephlite this place is gorgeous! It's huge! Where is Darien?" She strained to see the top. Serena stared out the window as Nephlite pointed out different sights. She looked in awe at all the buttons and controls. They walked into the hotel. They finally arrived at the hotel after weaving in and out of traffic for some time. Nephlite took her bag and put it in the trunk and opened the door for her. Nephlite smiled knowingly. She was so excited she couldn't sit still she would get up and explore the plane and even got to look in the cockpit. She hardly saw any of them. She grabbed her coat and locked the door.117 Chance Encounters them for you?" Very impressed. They got off the plane and got into the limo that Darien had arranged to pick them up and take them to the hotel. Finally. they landed in Austria. He told the driver to take them to the airport and off they went. "You two are in the penthouse. The elevator ride was the longest one she had ever taken in her entire life. the same one she was in before. Finally after Serena's third trip to the cockpit. You aren't afraid of heights are you?" Serena shook her head. "Nope! I guess we should go in and get unpacked huh?" She couldn't wait to see Darien again. She made one more quick check of the suite and then joined Nephlite in the hall. She spent her time looking out the window and talking to Nephlite about several topics ranging from herself to Darien." He smiled at her look of surprise. Wow. All she could think about was Darien. much to the amusement of the pilots. The flight went slowly for Serena. The concierge recognised Nephlite and sent a bellboy to take the bags and take them up to Darien's room. and the fact that in several minutes she would be seeing him again. Serena looked up at the huge hotel. Serena handed him the large bag while she took her carry on and purse. It looked very old. They got in and sat down. Darien had his own plane.
he forced himself to pull back. She looked around but didn't see Darien anywhere. she turned to ask Nephlite where he was. He was dressed in jeans and a tight black shirt that showed off his upper body.118 Chance Encounters door opened to reveal a hallway." He hugged her again. He swung her up and held her in the air. "Darien!" She jumped into his arms. "I missed you too. "You look incredible. "Serena. "Serena I missed you so much!" He held her out at arm's length and looked at her." She could have been wearing a potato sack and she still would have been stunning. He looked even better than she remembered." He put his arm around her waist and guided her around the penthouse. Serena's eyes widened at the splendour of the apartment. Expensive furniture decorated the lightly coloured room. It had two floors and on the first floor she found a grand piano that sat by the . protected feeling. strategically placed all over the room. He put the bags down and held out his hand as if by habit. "Merci." She hugged him again loving the warm. In his place she found someone else. Nephlite handed him a few bills and he left. Huge windows on the far side of the room showed the view of the city and were draped with heavy curtains. "You look great." He held her next to his pounding heart. She looked radiant. The bellboy led them to the door. "They are such bother. but he had disappeared. chère." He knocked on the door and walked in taking the bags with him. He couldn't believe how much he had missed her. It never ceased to amaze her how happy she was just to see this man. Let me show you around. Disappointed not see him. Serena clung to his broad shoulders and looked at him. He nearly went crazy waiting for her to get here and now that she was he didn't want to let go. There were fresh flowers in vases. His eyes sparkled with happiness when he put her down.
She would have to take a look tomorrow. "You stay in places like this all the time I suppose. "This is so good!" Serena took another bite. "This is amazing! I have never seen anything like this. She couldn't eat on the plane because she was so excited and now she was starving. but you can not know how lonely and boring it can get staying in them alone. "Yes. He played with her fingers and kissed her hand. "Come. There was a gigantic Jacuzzi tub and plants and soaps sat in dishes by the sink and the tub. He led her to the kitchen and opened the fridge. There was even a fireplace off the other side of the living room. she loved it even more than the closet. The windows were decorated with the same heavy curtains that were downstairs. They were drawn so Serena couldn't look outside. Next he showed her the bathroom. "Yes. loving her innocence. He pulled them out and cut two huge slices then replaced the rest of the cake." Her stomach grumbled. She noticed the bed. "What would you like?" She stuck her head in under his arm. you must be hungry. They went and sat down on the couch in front of the fireplace and gorged themselves. The stereo was in a corner and there were stacks of CDs next to it.119 Chance Encounters window." He nodded. He wiped some cream off of her lip with is forefinger. Darien smiled at her as she did. It was a king-sized bed with big fluffy pillows strewn at the head of it. The second floor was as lavishly decorated as the first only it was one big room. She hadn't eaten anything since she was at Rez. He ." She looked up at him. There was a bar and a huge entertainment centre with a very large screen." Darien was still looking at her." He took her hand. it is. One big bedroom. The kitchen was off to the side and had a huge fridge that was filled with everything. "You are so cute." Serena blushed. There was a large walk-in closet that Serena walked in and out of several times. She pointed at a coke and what looked like Black Forest cake. They walked out the other side. It was filled with everything.
120 Chance Encounters stopped and turned her arm over." Serena decided that it was time to tell Darien the whole story. She told him how she thought she was in love with him. He was everything that she could ever hope for in a man. She explained how it did help a little but she was unable to let herself trust any man. "I can't believe I let you talk to me though. It was nothing. And how after her final exams. "I think I would have totally shut down completely. that was until she met him. though she had the grades to get into any university in Canada. Serena saw him suddenly tense up and knew what he was thinking. Serena looked at him and considered lying but couldn't. Darien. I said no and he got mad. She told him how she was crushed by the encounter with Sabine and that it almost made her want to forget about Darien as well." . just after she lost her innocence to him. "If you hadn't come that night you probably never would have heard from me again. My ex boyfriend wanted me to go back to him. Darien felt an overwhelming urge to get his hands on who ever did this to her. Serena told Darien how she fell for him that night they went for coffee. she ran away to take refuge in the jungles of Indonesia to try and take the pain away." She tried to downplay the whole thing. He was fun to talk to. I would have kicked you out without listening. "What happened to your arm?" He looked concerned." She shook her head. "This guy grabbed my arm during an argument." She looked into his eyes. She told him everything from beginning to end. "Who did?" His jaw was clenched. Quietly he listened to her recount her high school days as she told him about how she was terribly hurt by Jeff. interesting and very worldly. "Please calm down. If you had been anyone else. not to him. She had never met anyone like him before. And after going out with him for two years. she found out that he had been cheating on her for months. He had spotted the bruise on her arm. She felt like such a fool.
"I'm glad that you did listen. she put her arms around his neck and with one hand toyed with his hair. It was sweeter. yet somehow it felt completely different." She held her breath as his lips got closer to hers. "You made me feel again. The sweet gesture brought a tear to her eye. "I love you too Darien. Timidly.. When she was with Jeff. Serena moved closer melting to him letting herself feel for the first time. Her first impulse was to suppress the new sensations." She could just imagine the perfectly poised and reserved Darien le Conte kicking and screaming because a girl wouldn't talk to him. he kissed the bruise." Her voice was rough. That would be something for the papers.121 Chance Encounters He took her hand." He would have stayed and talked things through with her. Tenderly. The feelings alarmed her at first. Serena smiled. to show her how much she meant to him." Darien was in seventh heaven when he heard her say that. Nothing with Jeff could even compare to this. Gradually the kiss deepened. into the depths of her eyes. He saw it and looked past them. Show her what real love was like. "I wouldn't have left you there that night if you had told me this." She looked into his eyes and knew that he meant it. It wasn't the first time he kissed her. "Is there anything that I can do?" Serena shook her head. "I love you Serena. "You've already done more than most.she stopped thinking about him. "Serena why didn't you tell me?" He hugged her and took another look at her arm. He brought his hands up to frame her face. better. loving the feel of her smooth skin on his fingertips. "I promise you. Serena's heart leapt. Gently he kissed her. She pulled back and looked at him. To tell you the truth if you had called security I would have kicked up quite a fuss. Serena never felt anything so intense before. A tiny part of her . No one is ever going to hurt you ever again. "How could anyone treat you like that?" His eyes glittered angrily at the thought but then he realised that Serena didn't need him to blow up right now.." He moved closer." He wriggled his eyebrows. She needed him to care for her. "I'm sure you would have.
The blood was roaring through her ears so loudly that she hadn't heard the knock at the door. Gently. All of his senses were filled with her. Her taste was intoxicating and he wanted more. light and promising. her taste. Without a word she found his mouth with hers and kissed him. Serena. Darien saw the struggle within her. Nephlite stood at the door. He continued to kiss her. . For once he was able to let himself go completely. he picked her up. it's ok. Serena gave him a confused look. mumbling something about killing who ever it was as he went. A hand on either side of her face he looked into her eyes. He let all of his feelings for her cascade into the kiss. He needed to show her what genuine love was like. The incredible feeling had him trembling when he pulled back to look at her. There were no doubts or fears there. Effortlessly. her feel. "Nephlite. Darien pulled away. Half way up the stairs. Carefully. teasing her tongue with his. he rained kisses over her face then returned to her mouth." He mumbled something else and looked at Darien. but you have another interview in a few moments. "Darien. Serena wound her arms around his neck and lost her self in the sensation his lips gave her." He glanced up and saw Serena on the stairs and gave her an apologetic look. my apologies. everything about her had his body screaming for more. Darien patted him on the back and Nephlite left. He groaned. The intense look in his eye told her he was asking if she was sure. Her scent. pulling her closer to him. Darien had thought about kissing her like this since he first saw her. Just love and desire." Serena tried to ease the awkward moment." His ears went red. Darien set her down on her feet and went to answer the door." He looked at a rumpled Darien and back at an equally dishevelled Serena and realised what he had done. a deep and drugging kiss. I'm really sorry. looking quite worried. but her heart told her to go with it. as he carried her to the stairs. I'm sorry to interrupt. "Serena. Had she done something wrong? The look he gave her told her that she hadn't.122 Chance Encounters mind tried to desperately. but nothing prepared him for the real thing. "They will be here in about ten minutes. She was very sure. "Oh.
chèrie. With great difficulty he dragged himself back. I want the world to know." "You look great too. She felt his fingers on her neck as he removed the necklace that she was wearing." He was wearing a pair of black trousers and a dress shirt. She ran her hands self-consciously through her tousled hair. "He's such a nice guy huh?" "Yes. black ankle boots and an accessory bag." He smiled pulling her up the stairs. Smiling. "Of course. She looked up at Darien and shyly headed for the bathroom. "Close your eyes. but with terrible timing." Serena grinned at him and began going through the bag. "Amazing. "We?" Serena looked at him. He laughed again and proceeded to get dressed. a white blouse to wear underneath. . she emerged dressed and accessorized to perfection." He smiled when she did without hesitation. Darien made even the simple combination look utterly devastating. It was replaced with something heavier and cooler." He led her over to the bed and sat her down. What did you wear to an interview? She pulled out an iridescent deep blue silk suit." Serena peeked out from behind the door and stuck her tongue out at him. You look wonderful. Darien shook his head at her modesty. "Come on. Serena looked at him.123 Chance Encounters Darien joined Serena back on the stairs. they will be very interested in my girlfriend. "I have something for you. she wasn't ready to change in front of him yet. "Come we must get dressed before I kiss you again and we embarrass poor Nephlite in front of the reporters." He put a hand on her cheek and kissed her in a way that had her knees weakening again. He kissed her hands then reached behind him. Darien walked over to her and held her hands out and looked at her. non?" He put her bag on the bed. They will love you. Several minutes later. Even though just moments before she was ready to completely give herself to him. "You are so cute.
It was shaped like a teardrop and hung on a chain of diamonds." Relieved it was all over Serena looked at Darien as he shut the door. He spoke openly to them answering all of their questions with a smile. Darien. It was very real. Serena looked at Darien." He took her hands and helped her up." Serena nodded. "No comment.124 Chance Encounters "Ok open your eyes. Finally." Serena opened her eyes and gasped." The woman interviewing them looked a little disappointed but didn't push the question." He winked. "That was simple. They also asked questions about Serena. "How did you know that I love sapphires? Darien knelt down beside her looking at their reflections in the mirror." "You don't have to thank me. ." The interview went by quickly and was straightforward. "Darien. They asked questions about Darien and he answered clearly and concisely. thanked them copiously and left. Smiling. He turned at the sound of the front door opening down stairs. Serena looked at Darien and he winked. "It's time for you to dazzle them. He held a mirror in front of her so she could see. "I think I hear Nephlite downstairs. Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek. "Remember that night I found you? And we went for coffee? You told me you love the colour blue. "This is the best gift I've ever gotten. they answered them all except for the one about where they were headed. Then they asked about the two of them." Serena looked confused. She answered shyly while she clung to Darien's hand for moral support. Surprised." He caressed her cheek. Serena stroked it with her fingers as if to see if it was an illusion. "And sapphires are blue so I figured that you would like them. it's gorgeous!" He leaned down and kissed her neck. On her neck was a sparkling sapphire the size of a teaspoon. "And you told me that you like green. "You told me. questions about how they met and where they were headed. they took photos of the adoring couple.
You must be starving. My maman made sure that I knew how before I left for university. "You can make the salad if you like." He reached into the fridge and pulled out a couple of steaks and some vegetables for a salad. They looked at each other again and again. . the tension almost tangible. "I could really go for a steak right now. They sat down at the dining table and silently ate dinner." Serena remembered she saw some in the kitchen earlier. "Of course. Darien watched Serena fidget with her napkin and unconsciously lick her lips. They caught each other's gazes." He smiled at her. She was aware of his every movement. no one talking.125 Chance Encounters "Yes. Darien grasped her arm and guided her over to the couch. just holding each other and staring into the fire. "So what would you like to eat? You never did finish off that cake. For a long time they just sat there like that. She rubbed her stomach as it growled again. "Ok I will make you one. He nodded. By the time the food was done she didn't know what she was hungrier for. She shivered every time he brushed past her." He led her to the kitchen. it was with you here." "Sounds like my mother. "You know how to cook?" Somehow she couldn't see him cooking. So you want any help?" She reached for the vegetables. Darien did the same. Working in such close proximity had a devastating effect on Serena's senses. He sat down and pulled her down on his lap. Serena eventually gave up trying to eat and put down her fork claiming that she was full. Serena took off her jacket and started making the salad. He watched and became conscious of the fact that he wanted to trace its path with his own." He was already at work seasoning the steaks. the food or Darien's kisses.
She couldn't believe that all this was for her. Darien had noticed how tense she was. Darien looked at her dismayed expression and laughed. he put a finger under her chin and lifted it so that she looked up at him. When she was ready he would be there. he bent down to kiss her. Darien had filled the tub with bubbles and lit scented candles around it. we sleep now. "Come. out of respect for her modesty. And he didn't want to rush her into anything that she would regret later on. she took off the necklace and put it on the vanity in the corner of the room. Lay down and I will run the water for you. Darien decided to follow her lead. They stood looking at each other in the bedroom. Gently." Serena walked back and lay on the bed and waited like he asked.126 Chance Encounters Serena couldn't remember the last time she felt so content. He patted the bed. "Pauvre. "Serena. "It is done. On a chaise next to the tub lay a gorgeous ivory coloured silk negligee and matching robe. She leaned her head against his chest and he rested his cheek on the top of her head. Serena. She started to walk to the bathroom door. though. Serena smiled at his thoughtfulness. She suddenly felt tense and knew that a bath would prolong the moment when he would climb into bed with her." Serena blurted it out. A few minutes later he returned. "I need a bath. She was sure it was what she wanted yet she was incredibly nervous and needed to delay the inevitable. Carefully. non?" Serena nodded and yawning again. He sat on the edge of the bed and waited for her to come out. he decided to see if she was ok. She willed herself to relax and concentrated on listening to the water swirl around her. She took off her clothes and climbed into the tub and lay back. She lay there thinking of what she was about to do. It was so easy for her to relax with him. Come. Unable to contain her fatigue any longer. feeling the tension drain from her. let him lead her up the stairs. Slowly. The tightness in her shoulders began to come back when she saw them." She went to the bathroom and shut the door. When she didn't come out in twenty minutes. He didn't want to walk in. She closed her eyes and lay back. Serena yawned into his mouth. So tired. Darien knocked on the door. are you .
Inside she felt relaxed and content. "Um. Smiling. It was amazing how the atmosphere outside differed so greatly with what was going on inside the apartment. As soon as her head hit the pillow she was asleep. I will be downstairs on the couch. Serena woke up to beautiful music drifting up the stairs." *No?* She looked at him puzzled as she got in the bed. He pulled back." She got out and pulled a towel off the pile and dried herself off." He kissed her. She looked around the room and remembered where she was and what had happened the night before. "Serena. She then brushed her hair and taking a deep breath.127 Chance Encounters alright?" Serena was half asleep when she heard him knock. she stretched and sat up.. ." He left the room. "Thanks.. She took a moment to look out over Vienna and watch the people bustle by and the cars zoom past.." she looked at the bed. ---The next morning. He was waiting for her beside the bed." She looked at him. She slipped on the negligee and carefully tied the robe. I'll be right out. making sure everything was covered.are you going to. "I'm alright. walked into the bedroom." She blushed and fidgeted with the tie on the robe. Serena was so nervous she thought that she was going to pass out. Serena. "No chèrie.. you must be getting sick of hearing this. "Bonsoir. The curtains were still drawn but the bright sunlight still shone through. but you look incredible. guiding her to the bed. The sight of Serena's lithe body barely veiled in the clingy fabric nearly undid all of Darien's good intentions. Getting up she walked over to the window and drew the curtains revealing a gorgeous view of the city. "You are tired and if I stay here tonight neither of us will get any sleep. He walked over and took her hands. a gentle lingering kiss. Serena felt a slight twinge of disappointed but it didn't last long.
128 Chance Encounters while outside people and cars rushed around in a frenzy of movement. chèrie. uplifting piece and reminded her very much of the man playing it. How about you?" She loved looking at his face. Shyly she ate it from his fingers." She went to pick up a slice but he beat her to it. I slept well. he looked more like a starving student rather than a world famous musician. In the living room. She inhaled deeply and then went to the vanity to find the necklace. Several times her lips made contact with his fingers and he thought that he would go mad with wanting her. "Good. she put it down and headed downstairs to find Darien. His eyes were closed and he was immersed in the melody as his fingers caressed the keys. the list just went on and on.. He was barefoot and wearing raggedy old jeans and a T-shirt that looked equally as old. "What would you like first?" "Mango.. Serena stood on the bottom step listening to the music letting it fill her heart. It was a sweet. "I was just kidding. She joined him on the couch. She smiled. the whole room smelled like his after-shave. I did not wake you did I?" Serena shook her head. "Mmmm." He laughed at Serena's shocked look. giving. trying not to touch him. funny." He disappeared into the kitchen and came back with a plate of crepes and a bowl of fruit salad. "Ok but I think I would sleep better if I hadn't fallen off the couch so many times. Darien fed her the fruit until the entire bowl was empty. Serena smiled and crept up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He stopped playing. Darien was practising a piece that Serena recognised as Mozart. Humming light-heartedly along with the music. He fought every instinct that made . She picked it up and let it twirl in the morning sunlight. "Heavenly. He stood up and pulled her body to his. Bon matin. He was so different from the guys she had known. She pulled the robe around her and practically skipped down the stairs. piece-by-piece. He didn't push her. He held it in front of her mouth. Did you sleep well?" He turned around and gave her a kiss. Slowly. She went to the bathroom and found Darien's shaving equipment out on the sink. intelligent. he was sweet.
She couldn't think with him doing the delicious things he was doing. Serena kissed him back. Still holding her hand he knelt down and lowered his mouth to her breast. His hand slid to her shoulder and he pushed the robe off. It both confused and thrilled her. Lightly he began to tease her with his tongue and teeth through the thin fabric. She thought that things would go quickly after he brought her upstairs. Her body arched as he slid the silk and lace from her body." His breath was as fast and uneven as her own. continued to wreak havoc with her senses. Darien tasted of coffee and something that was entirely him. Darien let out a soft groan. Serena shivered when the cool air touched her heated skin. Serena couldn't breathe. Darien nuzzled her neck and kissed a path to her collarbone. He pulled back to look at her. Serena wanted him. Darien gently kissed her tasting the fruit that he just fed her. This time there was no knock on the door to stop them. His determination to go slow crumbled when she let out a soft moan. She had a perfect body. She had never been treated with this kind of reverence before in her entire life. letting it slide to the floor. She felt so good next to him. Serena moved herself against him and wound her arms around his neck. She wanted to feel him. They tightened at his hungry gaze. He gently took her hand away and put it to his pounding heart. She had never wanted anyone like this before. "I have wanted to look at you for so long. She . but he continued to give.129 Chance Encounters him want to pick her up and take her upstairs. His mouth returned to hers and his tongue explored the recesses of her mouth. He let his gaze slide down the length of her and back up again to linger on her breasts. Darien groaned. He laid her on the bed and looked at her. Determined to go slow. Serena reached up tentatively and pulled his shirt off over his head and ran her fingers over his chest. Shyly. His hand moved up to her cheek and he lightly caressed her skin sending shivers down her spine. Serena tried to cover herself. He picked her up and continued to kiss her as he carried her up to the bedroom. She was confused but couldn't stop to analyse.
He resisted. couldn't breathe. "Serena look at me and tell me.. Darien forced himself to go slowly. An hour later Serena woke to find Darien gazing at her.. She tried to pull him down to her. he ran his other hand down her side. She fought for breath as the climax hit her. He did things to her she never imagined. replete and absolutely fantastic. his hard body pressed tightly against hers. "Darien. Darien watched her face as she cried out with pleasure and her body convulsed again.. Slowly he drew his hand up her thigh and Serena convulsed. She clawed at Darien as the waves of pleasure washed over her." He kissed her again hovering just above her. Her hands were in his hair." She smiled feeling warm. to show her how much she meant to him. Confusion and pleasure hit Serena all at once. Fantastic. "Darien. Made her feel things she never dreamt of. I need you!" Serena kissed Darien with everything she had. He took her in one long thrust. What . Lazily. "I need. Darien brought his mouth back to hers taking in her cries and driving her up again. "Tell me. to show her what love was like. breathing heavily." she couldn't think." He needed to hear her say it." Incredible. It was the last thing he knew before passion dragged him under." she looked at him.. No word seemed able to encompass what she was feeling. "Darien. "That was. Needed to know how much she wanted him." He pulled her over to him and held her. Darien came down to her. She writhed underneath him..130 Chance Encounters pulled him down to kiss him.. He kissed her. Darien continued to kiss and touch. holding him to her mouth so that she could taste him with hot. Not one part of her body was left unexplored." Serena wanted to scream his name but could only whisper it. "Hi. He skimmed his hands down her body. Amazing. wet kisses. She tried to fight it while yearning for more. making her writhe and claw at his back. He toyed with her hair breathing in her scent. He had never felt a pleasure so intense before. He ravaged her mouth then drew back. I. "Hi.
Cobalt eyes flashing angrily. Taken off guard. Arm in arm they walked down to the lobby to catch a cab so that Darien could show her some of the sights of the city. Serena giggled as he pulled the covers over them. he did not look happy. "What?" "I want you. leather jacket and khaki pants. "I would love to. He made her scream his name in ecstasy. They got . Down at the front of the hotel. Obviously they had gotten wind of Darien and Serena's romance and were waiting to ambush them. "I know. Serena in a grey wool skirt and sweater while Darien wore a sweater. "I love you.. Darien smiled and nibbled her fingertips." She ran her fingers over his chest again.131 Chance Encounters she felt when she was with him." He kissed her again and pulled her against him letting her know how much he wanted her. He had a grin on his face. Serena stopped dead and looked at Darien. We'll figure out something. chèrie. Darien had cleared his schedule for the day so that they could spend some time together. It was all too amazing. several tabloid photographers were waiting for them to come down. leading her through the rabble to the waiting cab. He did that to her. "Stay with me. At their approach the photographers made a mad scramble to get as close as they could to Serena and Darien and started taking photographs of the happy couple. They got dressed. Gazing at her.." She turned to him and smiled. he quickly took off his coat and put it over Serena's head. Me neither. he took in her dreamy look and felt a surge of supreme male satisfaction. ---Later that afternoon they decided they should get up." "I love you too. but I have to get back to school." He looked at Serena and kissed her. "I've never." Darien felt wonderfully languid. "I know but what am I going to do without you?" He hugged her." She twisted her head around to look at him.
" She jabbed him lightly in the chest." He kissed her feeling a little guilty about not taking her out like he promised. "How about we go for dinner instead?" "Sure. I haven't had a decent meal since I got here. The maitre'd recognised him immediately and almost tripped over the leg of a chair in his rush to get to Darien. "Only when then think they can exploit something. don't worry. Serena handed his coat back to him. "I just don't want them to turn what we have into something cheap and ugly. "Do they do this to you a lot?" Serena looked at him and rubbed her finger over his creased brow as she tried to blink away the flash spots that were now blurring her vision. Darien laughed as they settled back for the ride." He put an arm around her waist." He personally led them to an intimate little table off to the side . "They will be following us now. They both knew why that was." Darien leaned forward and told the driver to take them to a restaurant instead." Degree by degree she saw him relax. would you mind if we took in the sights another day?" Serena shook her head. right this way. "They are such sleaze!" Darien looked out the back window. "Herr le Conte! A pleasure to see you! We have a table for you sir." She looked over at Darien and smiled encouragingly. They walked past the doorman and into the foyer.132 Chance Encounters in and sped off. "You understand right?" "Yes. "I know a very good restaurant. The last thing I want is a bunch of people taking pictures of me. The cab stopped in front of the restaurant and they got out. "Besides I'm starving.
of the room, a discrete distance from the windows. "Here you go. I hope this is satisfactory." He pulled out the chair for Serena, Darien waited until she was seated and then took the seat opposite to her. "Would you like anything to start?" Darien picked up the wine list and scanned it. "How about your house red?" The man clapped his hands and a waiter appeared at this side. He spoke to him in German and the waiter disappeared returning moments later with a bottle of wine. He held it out over his arm for Darien's inspection, who accepted it with a nod. He pulled it back and opened the bottle. Darien then looked over at Serena and she nodded. He proceeded to order for the both of them. Done, Darien thanked the maitre'd and the man hurried off. "They really like you here don't they?" Serena smiled at Darien and laughed. "Did you see him nearly kill himself to get to you?" Darien laughed. "You'd be surprised what people do when they know that you have money." He picked up his wine glass, she did the same. "To chance encounters." "To us." They touched rims. The rest of the meal went by excruciatingly slow for Darien. He watched as Serena took bites of the food and sips of wine. Everything she did was so seductive even the simple act of eating had his body reacting to her. Darien shifted in his seat and continued to watch. She had a cute habit of licking her lips unconsciously when she knew she was being watched. Finally she finished eating, delicately wiped the corners of her mouth with her napkin, looked over at him and smiled. She evidently had no idea what effect she had on his senses. Serena saw the look on his face when she gazed at him. He was so gorgeous! Butterflies fluttered in her stomach and she shuffled her feet around uncomfortably. Her foot touched his and a jolt went through her, god she wanted him. He leaned across the table and took her hands in his and proceeded to kiss every one of Serena's fingers, not caring who wanted to look. He noticed a
lot of people did but it didn't bother him in the least. All that mattered was being able to touch her. To feel her silky ivory skin against his. She looked so beautiful sitting across from him that he just couldn't help himself. His dark blue eyes sparkled mischievously as he grinned at Serena's obvious discomfort. "Serena, relax." He kissed her palm. Serena shivered and licked her lips again. He brought his finger to her lips and lightly ran them over the path her tongue took. Her lips parted as she drew an uneven breath. Darien dragged himself back into his chair before he couldn't stop himself from making love to her right on the table. "Serena, you don't know what you do to me." He smiled at her rapt expression. "Do you want dessert?" She wanted Darien, not dessert. Wavering from her body's powerful response to his, Serena just shook her head no. Darien called to the nearest waiter. The maitre'd appeared at his side. Obviously he had been watching and knew that they were done eating. Darien paid the check and stood up and pulled Serena's chair out for her. "Herr le Conte, I have taken the liberty of calling a cab for you. Just to warn you there are reporters waiting for you outside." Darien nodded and thanked him. "We hope to have you again soon," He bowed and kissed Serena's hand. "You two make a lovely couple." The man walked off grinning from ear to ear having done something for Darien. Serena smiled at Darien and shook her head. Quickly they left the restaurant and jumped into the cab, rushing past the photographers. The cab ride home was quiet, but not at all as relaxed as their trip there. They stared silently at each other the entire way. Experimentally, Serena put her hand on his knee and slowly slid it up his thigh. Darien gasped and grabbed her hand and put it to his heart. She could feel it pounding in his chest. He toyed with her hair and lightly touched her cheek then pulled her over for a searing kiss. The cab finally pulled up to the hotel. Hurriedly Darien paid the driver and they quickly walked into the lobby and pressed the button for the elevator.
At the penthouse they all but ran through the doorway. Darien grabbed her arm and dragged her to him. Pressing her up against the door he kissed her, hot, wet kisses that made her knees weak and her heart pound. He took off her coat and tossed it forgotten over his shoulder. Serena gripped his coat with both hands and dragged it off then stuck her hands under his sweater and pulled it off over his head. She ran her hands all over his chest loving the feel of his muscles on her hands. Darien moaned. "I want you Serena." Serena pulled back and smiled wickedly. "You'll have to catch me first!" She turned and ran up the stairs. Laughing, Darien followed. Several hours later they sat in the bath with bubbles up to their noses. Serena leaned up against Darien's chest and sighed. She felt so happy and content with him. It amazed her how they clicked. They liked the same sort of movies, laughed at the same things and had the similar interests. She was surprised at how intimate they had become in such a short time. It wasn't long ago when she couldn't even imagine herself with a man and now here she was sharing a bath with the most incredible man she ever met. He was perfect. He challenged her mind and made her laugh. And physically, Serena shivered at the thought, never had she felt anything like what Darien made her feel. Darien nuzzled her neck. "What are you thinking of chèrie?" He whispered against her neck and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Mmmm, I was just thinking about how perfect this is." She smiled dreamily. "What do you expect when two halves of the same being come together?" He smiled at her shocked look. Her sky blue eyes widened a little, betraying her surprise. "You've read Plato?" She took a hand full of bubbles and stuck them on his nose. "Bien sur."
Serena looked up at him and grinned. He was a surprise a minute. "You don't think that I'm only interested in music do you?" He looked at her in mock disbelief. "You think that I am just a dumb musician." "Of course not..." her words came to a spluttering halt when he dumped water over her head. "Oh, you asked for it now!" She started splashing water at him. Of course he fought back. By the time they were tired out, a few inches of water was left in the tub along with some rapidly disappearing bubbles. Laughing, they got out. Darien grabbed a towel and started to dry her off. Smiling, Serena snatched the towel away from him. "Uh uh, no. I'll dry myself off." He gave her a hurt look, but his smiling eyes betrayed him. "But why?" He picked up another towel and returned to the pleasant task of drying her off. Serena grabbed that one as well. "We'll never get out of here if you dry me off." Darien leaned over and kissed her, picking her up at the same time. "That's the idea." He was still kissing her when he joined her on the bed. ---Serena stretched lazily when she woke the next morning. Reaching over she found the other half of the bed empty except for a single red rose and a note. Disappointed that he wasn't there she sat up. Serena unfolded and read the note. Serena, I wish I could be there to see your beautiful eyes open when you wake but unfortunately I am needed at the opera house. Please forgive me. Whenever you are ready I have left instructions with the concierge to get a limo for you and bring you to the opera. Je t'aime, Darien. PS. There is a surprise for you in the closet.
Smiling, Serena got up out of bed and walked over to the closet. Opening the door Serena stuck her head in and found a giant teddy bear smiling back at her. "Aren't you cute!" Serena scooped it up and gave it a big hug. Feeling something cold on her neck she lifted up the bear and looked at it. On it's neck hung a key on a gold chain. Serena took it off and looked at it. Puzzled, she brought it with her to the bathroom and placed it on the vanity as she took a quick bath and put her make up on. Twenty minutes later she was dressed in jeans and a silk blouse. She went back into the bathroom and picked up the key and fastened the clasp around her neck as she walked down the stairs. She would have to ask Darien about it when she saw him. She stopped in the kitchen for a bite to eat and, grabbing her coat, walked to the elevator and took it to the lobby. The elevator doors opened and she walked out. The concierge immediately spotted her and walked over. "Fräulein Cole! Good morning! The limo is waiting." Several other guests overheard him and looked over at her apparently wondering who she was. He escorted her to the limo. Serena cautiously looked out and was surprised to see that there were no photographers around. The concierge noticed her look. "They all followed Herr le Conte to the opera. So you don't have to worry. At least not until you get there." He looked over at the driver "Staatsoper." The driver nodded. "He will take you to the Opera house where Herr le Conte is waiting." He took her hand and helped her in the door. "Have a good day." Grinning broadly, he shut the door and Serena was off. Serena stared at the buildings as they whizzed by. Vienna was such a gorgeous city she hoped that she would get a chance to see the sights soon. The car stopped and the driver opened her door. Serena got out and looked at the building before her. It was incredibly ornate and looked very old. She hardly got a chance to admire it when she was swarmed by photographers. Serena rushed past them, up the steps and into the building. Inside was just as busy as it was outside. People were everywhere running about getting things set up for tonight's performance. Serena walked in and looked around for Darien but couldn't see him so she walked in a bit further. Not noticing that she had attracted the attention of a security guard who now approached her.
You're coming with me!" He gripped harder and pulled her along behind him. Serena had never seen him so angry. off of Serena." He looked very angry. She contemplated hitting him but it would just make matters worse. away from all the activity. The guard looked confused. "How do you know Herr le Conte?" It was obvious he wasn't about to let her go. Enraged. Serena wasn't about to back down and continued to try and break his grip. He decided to check it out anyway. glaring at the poor guard. "This is my girlfriend!" Disgusted with him. Darien looked at Serena's arm . he ran over. "Only authorized personnel are allowed in here. Darien was in the middle of a sound check when he heard noise coming from the entrance.138 Chance Encounters "What are you doing here?" He grabbed her arm and dragged her to one side. His eyes widened when he saw what the guard was doing to Serena." He said weakly. "I'm here to see Monsieur le Conte. none too nicely. He ambled his way down the hall and into the large room where he stopped dead in his tracks. "Let go of her right now!" Darien roared as he grabbed the guard's arm and removed it. "What do you think you are doing?" "She was trying to sneak in." Serena just looked at him stunned. Serena glared at him. Darien stuck his head out the door and came out of a room to see what the commotion was all about. So she continued to scream for Darien. "You cannot just come in here and expect to see a man such as him without authorization. now if you will let me go!" She tried to pull her arm away from him but he wouldn't let go. "Darien! Nephlite! Help me!" She tried to pull away but again she couldn't. It's probably another photographer trying to sneak in. "That's none of you business! Now let me go!" "No. It was happening frequently lately and was becoming almost routine. "I'm his girlfriend!" Desperate to get away from him Serena started to scream. He put his arm around her protectively.
he didn't hurt me. you found the key. "It's ok. He tore his eyes away and looked into her eyes." she touched it. "Yes. "You do not have any idea?" He kissed her. "You are too understanding. I am so sorry." The crowd that had gathered began to disperse now that the show was over. He laughed. "Darien. I don't want anything to harm you. Darien. he was just doing his job. "And you worry about me too much." He saw the look on her face and knew that she didn't believe him. It is the key to my home in Paris. "Now before you say no. He put his finger on her lips. Sufficiently reassured that she wasn't. "I haven't figured it out yet." He fingered it lightly and let it fall back to her chest. "Get out of my sight! You're fired!" Serena stepped in between them and placed a hand on Darien's arm. Jaw still set he nodded." He bowed. "Thank you." The necklace caught the sunlight attracting his sharp eyes." Serena wound her arms around his neck and kissed him back." Darien lifted her chin to kiss her." Serena caressed his cheek and looked into his eyes asking him to understand." He still looked incensed. "Please. "It's the key to my heart." Serena's eyes widened. "You know that I cannot refuse you.139 Chance Encounters making sure she wasn't hurt. Serena gave him a hug. He didn't know who I was. he turned his attention back to the guard. "Ah. His eyes lingered on the slight valley where the key rested. ok. fräulein.Serena just waved her hand. She shook her head." He knew she . she looked so sweet. "Of course. ever." She hugged Darien when the guard went back to his post." He pulled her onto the stage and sat her down on the piano bench. "Ok. The guard gave Serena a grateful look.
. his clever hands unbuttoned her blouse and explored the skin bared underneath. But it was a big performance that he couldn't miss." He took her fingers and kissed their tips." The last thing on Serena's mind was getting dressed. moving lower and lower. Serena shivered. The concert! "Darien. Darien had everything set up the way that he liked and they returned to the hotel to dress for the performance." "That is the good thing about being the performer. Her eyes snapped open. They fell onto the couch laughing. all she could do was throw her arms around his neck and kiss him. breathless from the ride back they rushed through the lobby and back up to the penthouse." He gave her a mischievous grin and continued to tease her with his tongue. chèrie..She gave him a playful shove. "Darien. He moaned. "Mmmm. It is for whenever you decide to come and see me and for when you decide to stay. "I don't know what I would have done if he had hurt you.we have to get dressed." Serena looked at him speechless." He stood up." "When I saw what the idiot guard was doing to you I nearly went crazy.. "I want you to have it. Once in the room." Serena's eyes closed.. They cannot start the performance without me. I missed you today. His mouth followed his hands." He began kissing her neck. Like the day before. "Thank you. she managed a breathless. His tongue was doing exquisite things to her senses.140 Chance Encounters would refuse. Darien grabbed her and kissed her." Slowly. He sat down beside her and put his arm around her waist. A couple of hours of frenzied activity later.. Finally. knowing how much she enjoyed it. "I told you before. come .. "Now would you like to see how we set up for a proper concert?" Serena nodded. you do not have to thank me. "Darien. "I missed you too. Serena closed her eyes. Darien. She ran her fingers through his silky hair.
"For now." He pulled her over to the bed. Serena stared at it stunned. this is too much! First the necklace. Just knowing that you will be thinking of me every time you look at it is enough. Tonight Serena wore a full length. he looked very elegant in it. please. was a gorgeous diamond ring." Serena laughed." He kissed her hand. nestled in the black velvet. "I need you now. Black with tails. He put his arms around her. emerald green gown. I just want you to wear it. Darien was wearing the same sort of tux that she met him in. but I wanted you to have this. "Let's get dressed.. He gave her looks that almost had her forgetting about getting dressed all together. "I have something else for you. She saw as he came up behind her in the mirror. "Chèrie. Darien took it out of the box and put it on her trembling hand. You don't have to say yes." That caught her attention. the square cut brilliantly reflected the light. "But we won't get back here until quite a while later. the clothes. then the key and now this. sat her down and kneeled in front of her. Getting dressed with Darien in the room took a great deal of self control. "You know how I feel about you. It was a princess cut diamond." . Serena stopped and looked at him. It was set in platinum with smaller trillium cut stones on either side. Serena gasped. The full skirt showed off her already tiny waist and her creamy skin was exposed by the off the shoulder bodice.141 Chance Encounters on!" Serena knew if he kept persisting she would be helpless to stop him." He silenced her with a kiss." He pouted. "Magnifique!" He smiled at her reflection. "Darien. then the reception. And I know that you're going to say it is too soon." He opened the case he held in his hand. "How much later?" Darien smiled. then we have dinner with a bunch of boring people and then we come home. Inside.. but somehow they managed." She pulled him up off the couch and up the stairs. "Well we have the performance.
He kicked them off and entered her slowly savouring the feel of her. Serena let every emotion that she was feeling pour out in her kiss. She wrapped her legs around his waist and moaned. rocking rhythmically. Needing to feel his body against hers. love. but as the heat began to build he moved faster and faster until Serena was keening and he shouted her name at his stunning release. "Serena. He ran his hand over her breasts and down her side lifting up her skirt. she tore at the buttons on his shirt and bared his chest. She tugged at the button and pulled at the zip until she managed to release them. her knees. excitement. "Darien." She almost thanked him again. happiness. Her back arched as the climax hit her. Darien kissed his way down her body pulling off her panties and unhooking her stockings from the garters at the same time.142 Chance Encounters Serena held her hand out to admire the ring. "I can't believe I'm behaving like a hormone crazed teen. nibbling and licking. She played with his tongue. He followed her collarbone with his finger and kissed her neck. her thighs and further. her ankles. He plunged into her gently at first. but instead decided to kiss him. kissing her toes. "Darien. Darien slowly caressed her thigh running his hands up and down them lightly." He kissed her fingers. Then she started working on his trousers. Serena ran her hands through his hair and pulled him to her for another soul stirring kiss. Darien caressed her cheek and laid her back on the bed. I want to be with you all the time. Make love to you all the time. Careful not to crush her he moved to her side and laid a hand on her heart. I can't get enough of you. Serena closed her eyes and let the sensations hit her. Fear. then looked back at Darien. Gasping for breath she dragged him back up to her. He smiled at her tenderly. Serena felt the tension start to build again and urged him on. Quickly she pulled both the coat and his shirt off in one smooth movement. For a while he lay there listening to her breathing slow. feeling it beat." . Unhurriedly he began to move. drinking in the taste of him. Loving everything he did to her. it's magnificent. I have never felt this way about another person before." She whispered his name over and over. everything. Then slid his way back up.
It must be time for the performance. Darien didn't seem to notice as he continued to search patiently for another dress." The bodice hung limply while the skirt was crumpled up around her waist. If Nephlite noticed. He looked at it and nodded. Satisfied that they looked presentable. She sat up and looked at her dress and laughed. they went downstairs. Serena shook her head as she took off the other dress. Serena realized how ridiculous it sounded. She let her fingers roam over his chest and kissed his shoulder. "Ok that'll have to do. One quick touch up of her make up and she was ready. "You two look wonderful. She never wanted or needed anyone like she did this man. Shall we?" He opened the door for them to walk through. I never wanted to be with anyone the way that I want to be with you. He held it for her perusal. I'm sorry. "I already wore that to one of your concerts remember?" As soon as the words exited her mouth. This one was full length with a slit up one side. "I'll find you something else to wear. never had she felt like this for anyone else. Merde!" He hurriedly redressed himself and Serena helped with his clothes. Darien sat up and looked at her. He reached in and pulled out another black one. She ran her fingers through his hair and then took care of her own. "It's Nephlite." It was the truth. "How about this?" He held up the black dress she wore to his other performance. She handed him the sapphire necklace that she retrieved from the bathroom. do you hear something?" Darien stopped and listened. She quickly smoothed the wrinkles out of his clothes with her hands. Serena spent the rest of the night in a dream state." He got up and put his trousers back on. "I think I have to find something else to wear." He opened up the closet and looked inside." Serena walked up to him and he slipped it on her. We ruined it. "I think you're right. He fastened it for her.143 Chance Encounters "I know how you feel. "Darien. he didn't say anything. .
Serena leaned against him. An hour later he finished signing the last book and turned to Serena. Darien introduced her to too many people to count. how do you do this all the time?" Smiling he caressed her cheek. He tipped her chin up to look into her eyes. Laughing. We can skip out on the dinner if you are too tired. "Yup. Serena looked up at Darien. "Darien. Everyone applauded as they entered the room. Serena sat with Nephlite in the front. flash bulbs flashed at the couple as they smiled happily." He leaned down to kiss her. lights flashed again. They posed for a few photos and then proceeded to mingle. He reached over and took her hand pulling her into the middle of the throng. "It gets easier with time. He held her to him while he signed autographs and made chit chat with the giggling ladies. Nephlite led her backstage and again they were encountered with the usual swarm of females throwing themselves at Darien. "Sure? I don't want you getting too tired.144 Chance Encounters Like the last performance. chère. Serena smiled at him." He led her out and into the limo. the reception wrapped up. let's go!" He led her into another room that was full of photographers and expensively dressed people. it's all for you isn't it? I can't skip out. "Don't worry I'll tell you. Several hours later. They got to the dinner and it looked like it . Wiping the tears from her eyes she clapped until her hands hurt grinning broadly at Darien all the while. How would it look for your girlfriend to not show up at a dinner in your honour?" Darien laughed and touched the tip of her nose with his finger. "Done! Now to the reception. The captivating performance ended with a standing ovation led by Serena herself. She sat watching the way that Darien would weave a spell around the entire audience. Are you ready chèrie?" He kissed her hand." He winked. "Alright but as soon as you have had all that you can handle you will tell me?" She nodded. "No I'm alright.
They ate and talked with everyone. fizzy champagnes and well-aged liquors flowed while the tangy smell of cigars tinged the air mingling with the expensive colonge and perfumes worn by the partygoers. The events of the night whirled through her mind when she closed her eyes. although some of them were a bit harder to understand than others. The rest of the dinner went quickly. Nephlite appeared and sat down on her other side. they were in the limo on their way back to the hotel. Then the table was cleared and there was more talking and drinking.145 Chance Encounters was something out of a fairytale. She continued to smile and talk like nothing was bothering her at all. Each plate was nestled in a bed of roses and elaborately folded napkins stood in the middle. she leaned on his chest and simply listened to his heartbeat. She took his hand squeezed it and returned to the conversation still holding it. Bouquets of roses stood in the middles of the tables. It all seemed like a wonderful dream. He looked so good sitting there in his tux. Serena cuddled up to Darien. Fine wines. She was incredible. He watched the way that she would listen to the person talking to her. Even though it was obvious to him that Serena was tired. He looked over at her and smiled. She was exhausted. Just a few days before she was a regular student and now she felt like a . pausing to look at each other frequently. He had to find a way to keep her with him. Darien pulled out her chair for her and then sat down to her left. She looked at him and smiled. She met some very interesting people and had some good conversations. She would then answer with a smile and if she had difficulty understanding would smile and shake her head and then have another go. Darien looked like he was enjoying himself as well. A while later. looking them directly in eye like they were the only other person in the room. Everyone adored her friendly demeanour and generous personality. she never let on to anyone else. She looked over at Darien and smiled. It turned out to be quite fun. Darien looked over at Serena and smiled at the way that she could talk to everyone even though there was an obvious language barrier. Darien's heart beat faster. Serena was enjoying herself even though she did have doubts about the dinner. The rest of the tables quickly filled up and then dinner was served. most of which were for Darien and Serena. There were toasts and speeches.
"Bon matin chèrie. He smiled and went back to what he was doing." He kissed her neck.. He left the clothes forgotten on the floor and picked her up and laid her gently on the bed." She shuddered as he kissed the back of her knees. Countess was a." She stretched lazily.. "We have plenty of time. "I was showing you what I wanted to do today." Again a muffled response. She laughed.. "Morning Darien. "What do you want to do today?" He grinned." Serena lightly punched him in the shoulder.146 Chance Encounters princess. "What shall we do today?" She giggled as he started moving lower. Serena reached over and put her hand on his chest. they walked slowly through the lobby.. Darien slid back up to her and kissed her. They arrived at the penthouse moments later. She loved the wonderfully secure feeling she felt waking up next to him. The next morning they woke up together. He undressed her at a leisurely pace and then undressed himself. the easy. It was mind-blowing. Darien led her up the stairs and into the bedroom.. He got in beside her and he held Serena tightly to him until they fell asleep. "Oui Serena?" he gave her his most innocent look. "That party last night was fun. enjoying the feeling of waking up with him. Serena closed her eyes and sighed. She got a muffled 'yes' as a response. Serena gave up on trying to have a conversation her mind was blanking out. "That. They waved hello to the concierge and got into the elevator. Before she knew it they were back at the hotel. unhurried walk of lovers." Serena closed her eyes and smiled. "Darien. Darien took her hand and helped her out of the cab." He slid his way back up her body.. She moaned and let herself drown in the sensation. A couple of hours later they went downstairs to the kitchen to get . He reached over and pulled her to him. riot. Arms linked.
"I just don't like them intruding. "Must be. Who cares if they get pictures of us having a good time. Our job is to not let it get to us. Some were from the dinner and the reception the night before. Inside were several pictures of them. "I just don't see why they have to do it. It doesn't matter. "So how about that tour you offered me?" He agreed. "I hate reporters!" He crumpled up the paper and threw it aside. "What's wrong Darien?" She saw the look on his face." She winked at him." He shook his head. "Darien.147 Chance Encounters something to eat. Serena peeked over his shoulder. so what? They took a few pictures. He flipped the page." "It's their job. How was she always able to get him out of a bad mood? He smiled at her." He turned around and hugged her. Serena rubbed his shoulders. She put her bowl down and went to him. he opened up the paper. She looked over them again and then at Darien. They settled with a bowl of muesli each. "Darien is that the newspaper?" She pointed at the folded paper by the door. Nephlite probably dropped it off. accentuating the ring Darien gave her. On the front cover was a picture of the two of them kissing at the dinner. it was pointless to let them ruin their fun. She couldn't read what they said about them but she did notice that one of the pictures had a circle drawn around her left hand. . Others were of them hiding from the reporters. As long as it's a not picture of us having too good a time." He got up and picked it up. He looked at it and frowned. Still holding the bowl. "Let's get dressed!" They ran back upstairs. They took their bowls to the couch and sat down.
"This is Gretchen and Inga. He left the people he was talking to and walked over." They all shook hands and traded hellos. "Gretchen. "He draws women like moths to a flame." He motioned at the women. I would like you to meet Darien Le Conte and Serena Cole. "Herr le Conte. They found him in the lobby a little while later talking to some local women. Serena noticed that the women were giving her some curious glances. Fräulein Cole! Out for a day trip?" He smiled warmly at . "Hey Nephlite!" They walked up to him. The women looked at Darien and Serena and smiled. Darien smiled at her as they approached." Serena laughed." He gave her a mischievous smile. she couldn't care less about what they thought about her. Serena blushed. I was wondering when you would decided to leave your little love nest. Darien simply replied to their looks by pulling her closer to him. He noticed them before anyone could reach him." They shook their heads. Serena shrugged. Nephlite saw the blush and smiled wider. "You are welcome to join us. We'll see you later ok?" He and Serena approached the main desk and asked for the concierge. "I think I will stay with them. They're probably wondering what I'm doing with Darien. Darien looked over at Nephlite." Darien rolled his eyes and smiled. "As you wish. Inga." He looked at the women.148 Chance Encounters They got dressed into some comfortable and warm clothes and went to see if they could find Nephlite anywhere." He smiled. "We were wondering whether or not you would like to join us in a little sight seeing. Nephlite looked at Darien and shrugged. "Like you have any trouble. "Hey you two.
"For being you. "It's true. She was incredible. She made even the simple things.149 Chance Encounters them. Serena looked at him and smiled. the smells. The moment they stepped out of the hotel. He looked down at her and smiled. it seemed like they walked into another era. He noticed that she often turned her camera to the flowers and people. "Mmmm. He took a look at it and nodded to himself. the sounds. She was so sweet. what was that for?" Her eyes darkened with his kiss. Ignoring the photographers. Darien put his arm around her waist as they stopped to take in the sights." He looked at her face and realized he loved looking at her. "You're so sweet. The little shops. ." She kissed him. Those are the better sights that tourists don't often see. The buildings were so different from what she was use to seeing." Serena smiled her gratitude. She put her arms around his neck. They all look so old and dignified. fun. the people. She gasped in awe at the monuments and took some photos. "Thank you. His heart stopped. It was fun to walk around the city. He loved the way that she took pleasure in the small things. they all delighted her. Serena. "Here you go." Darien took her hand and they continued walking. we were wondering if you could tell us some of the better sights to see?" The man's excitement was evident. I am totally in love with you. Unable to stop himself Darien leant down and kissed her. Darien led her out of the hotel and they walked to the first sight on the map. like walking around looking at sights. It was gorgeous. "Yes. He quickly walked to the desk and pulled out a pen and paper and started writing directions down and drawing little maps to different sights." Darien took it from him.
" "Chèrie." She looked at the sparkling ring on her finger. I need you to be with me. eyes sparkling. "Serena. Never doubt that. "Darien. She loved his wit." She stopped. "I could never keep . After taking in their fill they headed back in the direction of the hotel. It was getting dark by the time they got back. Darien held her to him and grinned happily." She kissed his cheek. in short everything about him.150 Chance Encounters "I'm so in love with you too. Uncomfortable under their scrutinizing gaze. Why should she care what total strangers thought of her? After the elevator stopped several times to let people on and off they finally reached their room. she tried to extricate herself from Darien's arms. Yes. Darien pulled Serena through the room and sat her down on the couch. I promise that I will come back to you as soon as I can." He looked up at her. "Please stay with me. "I want to. "No." Serena put her hands on his cheeks. Is that what you were going to say?" He took her hands and kissed them. He kneeled in front of her. She smiled at him. I love you too. He held on tighter. "But you must finish school. Believe me I do." Serena shook her head. I will not push you." Serena meant it. Serena knew he was right. his charm. Serena observed some of the older guests tutting and shaking their heads at their display of affection." "Darien." He whispered the words against her neck. Quietly they took off their coats and shoes. She loved every moment with him. "Darien. He looked at it also. who cares what they think. The decision is yours to make and I know that I cannot change your heart. "Serena... Je t'adore. my heart is yours. They leaned against the back as they rode it up to the top. They walked by the concierge and said hi then headed to the elevators. I want to be with you always. They walked around the rest of the sights on the list talking along the way.
"Yeah. Afterwards they did the dishes together and then settled on the couch." He pointed at her diamond earrings and her silk blouse. stirring kiss. deep. "Ok then how come you have a free flow of cash?" "My parents are pretty well off." She reached for him and kissed him back. he made everything a lot of fun. Darien laughed. interviews. Serena fixed dinner this time and they ate it on the floor in the warm glow of the fire delighting in the flavour of the food. ." She thought of how her friends had to save and stick to a budget. listened to music and talked. an incredible. Serena's eyes filled with tears. sight seeing and she enjoyed every minute of it. they decided to stay in and spend some quiet time.151 Chance Encounters away from you." He drew her toward him and kissed her." She looked at him. ---The rest of Serena's stay was pretty much the same." "Serena. Serena laughed. On her last day there. Why? Has that been bothering you? Cuz I assure you I don't have another globe trotting boyfriend hidden anywhere. And I have a pretty hefty trust fund." She took his hand and kissed his talented fingers. "They aren't poverty stricken. "I won't make you wait that long. "That would explain why you have such nice things. "So how is it you are not as poverty stricken as the rest of the students?" Darien looked into her eyes. they sat together on the couch in front of the glowing fire and cuddled. I will wait forever if I must. concerts. After a long day of making love and talking. It's more like a lack of free flowing cash. She had a great time with Darien.
How could anyone want to be married six times? "You're joking! Who?" He puffed out his chest self-importantly. You took it like a pro. It means a lot coming from you. "She's like seventy years old!" "She's only fifty. "Sixth?" She looked at Darien. "Thank you. He loved teasing her just to see her reaction. it didn't shock her in the least that she's been married so many times. Other women your age probably would have talked about the latest music video on MTV or something. "To tell you the truth I was dreading going to that dinner. I thought it would be a long boring affair. would you believe that he is her fifth husband?" "No." "Really? In what way?" Now it was her turn to be curious. He grabbed her and started . That Serena picked up right away. "You're kidding. "But you talked to everyone even though I knew you were tired and couldn't understand some of what was going on. He shrugged." He gazed into her eyes. That's not true!" Serena feigned shock." She smiled." Serena blushed. He shook his head and grinned." Wide-eyed Serena looked at him. "You are more grown up." Serena raised her eyebrows. The countess was an eccentric woman. I saw how you handled yourself at your first dinner. Especially that countess and that husband of hers." "Ah." He sighed. "I was just curious. You never seemed like the rest of your friends. but it was quite fun. "You're just incredible. Serena gave him a light punch on the arm." Darien said in mock indignation. They started laughing. "I hear that she wants to be moving onto her sixth soon.152 Chance Encounters He laughed.
Darien looked at her and sighed. "As a matter of fact he has. She knew Sabine was trying his last nerve." Serena stood up and faced her. slowly circling the couch where she sat like a shark circling its prey. They fell off the couch and onto the floor as they tickled each other." She looked at Serena.153 Chance Encounters tickling all the little spots he found over the week that made her giggle. It's probably Nephlite coming to say goodbye. "Va t'en!" She looked over and saw Sabine standing on the other side of the door in a trench coat and what looked like underwear underneath. "Leave right now. "He told me that once." Darien muttered something at her under his breath. Serena got back onto the couch and straightened her blouse and hair. "So you think that he loves you? I bet he told you that you were the only one for him. He kissed her back and started undoing the buttons to her blouse. "How nice. Sabine saw her and strode over." Darien looked calm. Laughing Serena pulled Darien down to her and kissed him. Here we go again. Serena sat on the couch watching." He climbed off of her and walked to the door and opened it." She sniffed disdainfully. "You don't mean that. He tried to shut the door but she stuck her foot in. "Hold that thought." His voice was edged with ice." She eyed him. Darien opened the door and swore when he saw it wasn't Nephlite. "So you are spending time with that child. She wasn't . He stopped and dropped his head on her chest when he heard the knock at the door. "We are so good together. Darien. Darien backed out of reach." She purred. Sabine simply squeezed her way past him and into the penthouse. but Serena could see the anger blazing in his eyes. He'll soon bore of you like he did me and the others. "Sabine." She put her hand on his chest. what the hell are you doing here? I told you I don't want to see you ever again.
"I will never forget this. he knew what she was thinking of doing. "Serena. Just one punch. you know that's not true. Eyes narrowed." "Stupid girl! Once he has had his fun he'll toss you aside. and beautiful. "Is that why you like me? Because I'm young and naïve?" Darien gently placed his hands on either side of her face.154 Chance Encounters going to back down this time. "Serena you do believe me don't you?" ." He attempted to put his arm around her. shut the door and sat down next to Serena. "You'll pay!" she glared at Serena. "How dare you! You leave me for a child! A little girl that you can mould into whatever you like!" she glared at him. "Maybe she has gotten the message now." Serena stood glaring at her." He looked into her eyes. I need you. you little whore!" She stormed out the door slamming it hard enough to rock the vase of pink and white roses on a table nearby. He put his hands on her shoulders as if to say she's not worth it. Sabine had a superior smirk on her face until she looked at Serena's clenched hands and saw the ring. "Especially you.. "And he doesn't look like he's going to get bored of me anytime soon. You're intelligent. Without you I would surely shrivel up and die. "I'm sorry about that." He toyed with the ring on her finger. Her expression quickly changed." He reached over and picked a rose out of vase sitting on the table." She swung open the door. funny. she whipped around and angrily struck Darien in the face. He stood there and took it without flinching. Serena moved away so that she could look at him. non? It is like you and me.. With you I am able to enjoy life. Darien came up behind her. Making you happy is as essential to me as breathing. Serena. I love you for you. You've brought a light into my world that I have never known or never knew I needed. She just will not leave me alone. Darien exhaled. "If this rose was not to have any sunlight what would happen? It would whither and die. You are my soul mate.
Serena walked into the bathroom and turned the taps on. She saw the look on her face. "But what about the other girls she talked about? Have you been with many women?" It never occurred to her before that there were other women besides Sabine and herself." Serena wasn't so sure though. She saw the love there. Instead he walked to the living room and picked up the phone and started dialling.155 Chance Encounters Such beautiful words. "I can't see you doing that either. He had to do something before she closed off completely and he lost the best thing in his life. She saw none. Serena looked at him." Serena studied his face looking for any signs at all that he was lying. Slowly. Damn Sabine! Because of her Serena was closing off again. "There were no other girls. "She likes to threaten but never has she followed through. got up and without looking back. She didn't need him to crowd her right now. Darien shook his head. Closing her eyes. I do. She nodded. Sabine doesn't have it in her. Darien got up and walked to the stairs then stopped and shook his head. loving Serena was replaced with a wintry. I think I'll go and take a bath ok?" She shrugged him off. She pulled back. she undressed and got in. she leaned back and listened to the water splash. impenetrable figure. It was as if she erected a wall of ice around herself." She sighed. I am not the type to go looking for casual relationships. They were very much alike. Sabine would have killed her right then and there if she could have. Serena needed some time to think. walked up the stairs. Darien saw how tense Serena was and started to massage her shoulders. Serena could never imagine having a fling with anyone and she knew that he felt the same. She has a temper but she wouldn't do anything like that. Darien's heart ached as he watched her go up the stairs. "Yes. Serena thought of all the things that had happened over the . "Darien." He kissed her. "Do you think that she will do anything to me?" Darien shook his head again. looked into his eyes. In an instant his warm. He would never lie to her.
She knew she couldn't do this to him. She got out of the bath dried herself off and put on jeans and a T-shirt. She buried her face in his chest. He had never looked like this. Serena was shocked by his haggard appearance. Anxiously. She shook her head. Relief coursed through his entire body. we can't let such a wonderful week end on a sour note. Her face didn't betray any signs to what she was thinking. Then slowly Darien noticed them change. "Darien." He rested his cheek on top of her head. Darien did love her and she loved him. Darien's heart stopped when she simply stood there looking at him. Barefoot she headed down the stairs. Darien did love her as much as she loved him. "Serena. Darien let out the breath he was holding. Serena soaked for a little while longer and then decided to go back down to talk things through with Darien.156 Chance Encounters past week and then about what Sabine had said. She found Darien waiting for her at the bottom. He was always up front with her and it was time that she learned to do that with him. "That's great! We'll get to spend a little more time together. She noticed that Darien's poise was gone. he looked at her. To hell with Sabine." Serena jumped up and threw her arms around his neck. in its place were tension and apprehension. smiled and took it. Serena looked into his eyes and held out her hand. No one can pretend happiness like that. No." . It had to be. The smiles and the kisses and the love were all real. "That is why I'm taking you back myself." He held her to him and breathed in her scent. "Really?" "Oui." "I agree." Serena smiled at him. Even her eyes seemed guarded. Serena turned on the jets and let them pound some sensation into her numb limbs. Her heart went out to him. I cleared my schedule so I can take you home and then I have to return the next day and meet Nephlite in London. everything that they had done and said this week was real.
They got in the first cab they saw and took it up to the university. All three looked over when the door opened. The concierge rushed over and took Serena's hand. this is Lita. "Serena!" Happily they dropped everything and came over to give Serena a hug. "Very unforgettable. They stopped by Nephlite's room and said goodbye and then headed out to the limo. Serena smiled. She noted that Darien looked as happy as Serena did. they sat and talked about what they would do when they got back to the university. Raye and Mina had already returned.157 Chance Encounters "I am glad that you still want to spend time with me. "It was a pleasure having you here. . "So this is the guy you've been keeping to yourself huh?" She smiled at him and extended her hand. She looked at Darien and smiled. Darien took it and kissed the back. Lita hugged Serena and then looked over at Darien. Smiling he picked her up and carried her back upstairs. They were laughing when they walked in the door. "Darien. It looked as though they were making coffee and getting ready to watch some TV. Fräulein. Serena led the way up to the suite. Close to ten hours later they landed." He grinned even wider. ---The next morning they woke up and packed up Serena's things and a couple shirts and jeans for Darien. he did the same for Raye and Mina. The plane ride was uneventful. "We hope to see you again soon. He was very attractive." He kissed it." Darien took her hand and helped her into the limo and then got in himself. Raye and Mina." But she wasn't going to tell him it wasn't because of the service. Inside Lita." Serena gestured at each girl as she said their name. the posters of him didn't do him any justice." He took her hands and kissed them. "I had a very pleasant stay. Serena wanted to finally introduce him to her friends.
"She's quite a catch. I intend to. Min looked at Serena's hand and spotted the ring. She showed them pictures of the sights and they all ohhhed and ahhhhed." He nodded and smiled. Mina put it on and pranced around the room with it. "Malachite is her boyfriend. Serena ran her hand through her hair. "I know. She pulled out the teddy bear next." Darien and Serena looked at each other and grinned widely. "Oh my god! It's gorgeous!" The other two came over and looked at it as well. focussing on Darien. postcards. "I gotta go show Malachite! Be right back!" Mina dashed out of the room and across the hall. Then showed them the key that still hung around her neck. Malachite ignored her for the moment. Serena never looked happier or more relaxed. Mina watched her as she did. "You are Serena's roommates. Serena shook her head. "You two look very happy. Blushing. The light glinted off something in her hair. "Take care of that one. He returned his attention to Serena and put his arm around her waist casually." Darien and Malachite sat down on the couch talking while Serena proceeded to show the girls what she got during her trip. "You must be Darien. everyone. and miniatures of the sights that she got them." he nodded at Serena.158 Chance Encounters "Bonjour. non? She speaks of you all a lot." Darien smiled at Serena. Then she reached into her purse and pulled out the key chains. Then she pulled out the necklace and they all took turns looking at it. . All commenting on how beautiful it was. "Look!" She pointed at the ring. He stuck his hand out. Raye smiled." Darien smiled warmly at them. Mina came back dragging Malachite with her. Gasping she grabbed her hand and brought it to her face. Serena looked at Darien." They shook hands." He was amused by their looks of admiration. She left the negligee in the bag. She felt like she had the words 'Sexually Satisfied' stamped on her forehead.
"Merci. Serena knew what he wanted. "I'll show you where the towels are. toying with the sapphire. and shivered when his fingers touched her neck." Darien walked up behind her and took it off." Serena pointed at the clutter of shampoos and bodywashes that were hers and she left him to it. That gorgeous guy was so close to her and just touched her neck. Lita pulled her over and sat her down on the couch. Serena tried not to laugh. Darien. Handing him one of her own towels and pointed him in the direction of the bathroom.159 Chance Encounters "I didn't know what to get you so I got these." he nodded down the hall. "He's amazing!" Mina was babbling now. "Chèrie. Serena returned to the living room. "I think it looks great on me.. "His eyes. "I want this. She could imagine why Serena looked so happy. There was such a raw magnetism about him. that accent and his body! Wow!" Serena shook her head in amusement. but Min's reaction to Darien was so funny that she let out a little giggle. this is Serena's. oblivious to the effect he had on Mina. Mina still hadn't taken off the necklace. Malachite looked at her and shook his head in amusement. You're positively glowing! So what's .." He leaned over and gave her a peck on the cheek and disappeared behind the door. I need a shower can you. Min grinned foolishly at him." She admired her reflection in the mirror. Pushing Mina aside. Smiling. "This stuff is mine." She passed them out." She got up and he followed. "Sorry. "Like I need to ask. brought it back to Serena who put it back in its case." Mina stared at his reflection. "So how was your vacation? What did you guys do?" She grinned as Serena blushed. oh my god.
Look at this!" Mina was going through Serena's bag and had pulled out the negligee." Smiling sexily. Lita giggled.like?" The girls sat down around her looking for an answer. "I can't believe you just did that. Darien had finished showering and stood at the entrance to the living room and was listening to the conversation.. "It's brand new!" Lita fingered the lace. Darien walked up behind them completely naked except for the towel that hung low on his hips. "Must have been a great weekend. Raye laughed at her helpless look. Beads of water clung to his lean chest. "Oui.you know. So you guys kept pretty busy then huh?" She wiggled her eyebrows. As he moved towards them. He was still wet from his shower. "Did he buy it for you?" "Give it back!" Serena reached over and grabbed for it but unfortunately for her. He shook his head and decided to rescue Serena from her taunting friends. we did. While the girls stared at him slack jawed he took the negligee from Lita's hand. Not knowing what to say she looked at Raye to defend her.. Serena stared open mouthed at her." He grabbed the bag and started looking for . well out of Serena's reach.. All activity stopped dead as everyone stopped to look. "Mina! You guys are terrible!" Serena tried to get it away from Min but she ran away from her and after a short chase in the living room she passed it to Lita. "I'll take that as a yes. "Don't look at me! I'm curious too!" "You guys!" Serena's face went red." He picked Serena up in his arms and carried her to her room." He dumped Serena laughing on the bed. "Your friends are funny. He walked in. Lita stood up and held it over her head..160 Chance Encounters he. the beads slid down his stomach. "We will be needing that right now.
je suis très fatigué." He winked and walked into Serena's room. He looked up and saw her and smiled. "I know you told us that he was interesting and funny. She walked out into the living room and found Darien entertaining everyone with one of his stories. but we thought you were making it all up. "Can I have him?" Serena just smiled. "Who cares as long as I look good to you?" He grabbed her and kissed her. He shrugged. "I must get some sleep." Serena took a hot shower and felt a lot better. He's good looking. "And he so obviously loves you." . pulling her over to where he was standing before." He translated for the rest of the group. "What's the matter with you guys?" Raye shook her head. Serena watched him walk down the hall and tried to figure out a way of joining him without making it obvious what they were going to be doing. "Now are you going to take a shower?" Serena nodded. I'd say he's fantastic at everything. "You honestly have no idea how good looking you are do you?" She watched his every movement mesmerized. "That guy's incredible! You are so lucky." Darien. funny and from the way you look after spending a week with him. smiling happily. smart. "Ok I'll go out and talk to them. She turned back to them and laughed at the looks the girls gave her. He walked over and took her hand. "Nope sorry. She came out dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. She stood in the entrance way and watched him." Raye emphasized the word everything. I'm very tired. "We believe you now. Lita smiled and looked at Serena." Raye looked at the dreamy look Serena had on her face. "See you in a bit. nuzzled her neck. "Chèrie." She looked back at Darien and grinned." He patted her bum. Darien quickly dried himself off and pulled on a white T-shirt and jeans.161 Chance Encounters something to wear.
" The girls just groaned. "What is with women and shoes?" His attention went to the garment bag hanging in the closet. "Do you have time though?" ." He shook his head and looked in her closet. "You like shoes huh?" He pointed at the sea of shoes on the floor. Wednesday." Raye pouted and then laughed. "Is this the dress you wore on Halloween?" Serena nodded. you have him Monday. "Wow!" Serena's necklace caught her eye again. "Yeah right!" The girls threw pillows at her as she walked away." Serena laughed and shook her head. great at everything guy. "You never did tell us what's up with that key." Serena laughed. Serena opened the door and found Darien standing at her desk waiting for her. Friday and the weekend and we get him the rest of the time. "It's the biggest room in the suite. you should see the others.162 Chance Encounters "Can we work out some sort of schedule so that we can share him? You know." She arched a brow at Serena." She got up and headed to her room. "Sorry guys but I gotta get some sleep. smart." "Yes! I've always wanted to go. "It's so small. "How about this? Do you want to go to the Carnevale for real? I've never been and I think it would be fun for us to explore. "Oh right. it's the key to his home in Paris. "You'll just have to find your own good looking. "Can I look at the ring again?" Mina held Serena's hand up to the light and stared at the sparkling stones. funny. He opened it up and looked at it." She smiled at him. "He gives you everything!" Serena yawned. "So this is your room huh?" He spun around in a circle.
" Andrew and Kyle were grinning. "This mask is too sad for you though. We won't have to worry about that for a while." Steve. "You could be a dashing count or something like that." He tried to punch Serena in the shoulder." He was so dignified that she couldn't imagine him as anything else. "What more can you ask for?" They looked over at Darien." He wiggled his eyebrows." Seiya smiled at Darien and shook hands with him. "I have a week vacation in February. chèrie. "We'll have to get you a new one. Darien looked impressed. "So what can we do in your tiny room?" Serena laughed and hugged him as they tumbled onto the bed. It was her old self. "We've heard a lot about you. We could go and have fun for a week. But we are here now. "Serena." She smiled." he touched the teardrop. Serena gave each of them a hug." Serena was already getting excited." "Great now all we have to do is find you a costume. "She says that she . Everyone was in the kitchen. Serena blocked it and hit him instead." They shook hands with him. She definitely didn't feel like hiding herself behind a melancholy mask any more.163 Chance Encounters He nodded as he pulled out the mask and grimaced. A couple of hours later they emerged from the room contented and smiling. "How were your vacations?" "It was great! We hung out with the old gang and got food cooked for us and laundry done for us. "Hi there. "You must be Darien. "Hi guys. They turned to them and smiled knowing exactly what they had been up to. "It is three months away. hope you're taking care of her." He smiled. Kyle and Seiya were in the kitchen.
He looked very amused. "Sure!" They all scrambled about as everyone started to get ready to go out. ." She led him to the bathroom and pointed at the girls trying to put makeup on all at the same time. She looked at her smiling reflection. They mock screamed and tried to hide their half made up faces from him. "It sure beats cooking ourselves. "Hold your breath. Mina looked over her shoulder. Darien shook his head and laughed. Darien's eyes widened. She did have a glow about her. Serena settled on black slacks and an ivory silk blouse. Darien laughed. but she does." He teased. Serena turned to Darien and whispered. After a smouldering kiss. "Bizarre. Darien wore his jeans and a white dress shirt.164 Chance Encounters doesn't need it. "Is it going to be fancy?" Serena and Darien looked at each other and nodded. they emerged once again from the room. After Mina finished up they headed across the hall. she was still adding a few finishing touches. He now understood why she said to hold his breath. "You all do this every time you go anywhere?" Serena nodded. The boys gathered in the living room and did a mock runway type walk. Serena looked at Darien's reflection and smiled at him. Serena put a little lipstick on and was happy with the way that she looked." "You think this is bad? You should have seen us on Halloween. "The fanciest!" Mina panicked and ran into her room to find something suitable to wear. In their room they still had cases and cases of beer cans and liquor bottles from Andrew and Kyle's little get togethers stacked in their closet and unwashed dishes piled in the sink. "Would you all like to join us for dinner?" They all looked at each other. She watched Darien as he watched everyone running about. All the girls apart from Mina were ready. Serena shook her head. There was no where in town that was that fancy. "Come check this out." Serena took his hand." Darien and Serena sat at the table." then opened the door. It was a nightmare. Serena and Darien went to her room and found something to wear.
Serena was impressed at how Darien sat and waited with the rest of them. Everyone got along well and Serena was happy that Darien fit in. They were helping the boys up the walkway when Serena saw Jeff and Amy walking toward them. They spent the next few hours talking over their food and sharing stories. and they drove back to Rez. She drove past Seiya's space and yelled. Darien and Seiya drank. Darien in the front and the three girls in the back. Serena fell for him even more. They parked in a parkade and walked around the corner to a theme restaurant called 'Niners'. Inside was a fifties type motif. They waited for about twenty minutes in the waiting area before they got a table. They finished off the night at one of the local night clubs. The girls and Darien walked to Serena's car. Seiya quickly caught up and followed close behind as Serena drove downtown. He certainly wasn't like other celebrities who demanded to be treated better than everyone else. It was great. The walked back to the cars. They all walked down to the parking lot. They all sat down and looked at the menus. She ordered the same thing every time she was here. The girls liked to come here when they were shopping and when they wanted to celebrate something. "Follow me!" then sped off. Everyone but Serena. Instead he was patient and even joked about to past the time. Then they would switch. "Cute car. Darien played very well even though he swore that the last time he played was in university. Darien looked at it and nodded." Serena smiled. He and Serena played against Seiya and Lita. . Darien looked it over and didn't know what to get so he got the same as Serena. Everyone else got more exotic sounding foods. Andrew and Kyle needed a little help. Serena didn't really need to. They all got in. If it was possible. She stiffened unconsciously and Seiya glared at him.165 Chance Encounters "Ready then?" Everyone nodded. They danced and sang along to the music until the early hours of the morning. while the other four played each other. After dinner they decided to go over the street and play pool for while. Caesar salad. well most of them walked. chicken fingers and an iced tea.
." Darien nodded.166 Chance Encounters Darien saw their reactions. "Morning chèrie." He ran his finger over her lips. got into bed and fell into an exhausted sleep. "When will I see you next. Serena?" He looked a little sad. Would like to come?" Serena shook her head. "He's not worth it. She's probably mad that Seiya hit him. Darien looked at Serena. they climbed the stairs and walked into the suite. Darien's jaw clenched. Amy smiled at everyone but Serena and Seiya. "You could come." She stretched and kissed him back. it was their last day together. New Years?" "I have a concert in Madrid. The next morning Serena woke with Darien kissing her. It worked out quite well. "I gotta spend it with mine. They settled with pressing themselves together as close as they could and entwining their limbs. Jeff pretended not to notice them at all. "Christmas?" Darien shook his head. Serena put a hand on his arm and shook her head. She gave them a dirty look and kept walking. Serena's heart sank. "Is that Jeff?" Serena nodded." Serena shook her head. He nodded and played with a strand of hair. Did you sleep alright?" She leaned back to look at him careful not to tumble off the side. The tiny bed could barely hold them and they had to find some interesting positions to fit them both on comfortably. "That's his new girlfriend. "Good morning. "What is the matter with her?" Serena rolled her eyes." Slowly. "I am spending it with my parents. They washed up.
"Come with me. The guys were watching TV. "I will be back soon. It was hopeless. They got out of the car and Serena walked him to the terminal. Serena waited until the plane had disappeared into the cloudy sky before she returned to Rez. She curled up in her bed and tried to think of when she could see him next. Serena closed her eyes as tears streamed down her cheeks. He continued to kiss and caress her trying to reassure himself as well as her that everything would be ok." They stood up and he gave her a deep kiss. Between his schedule and her classes they didn't have much time to talk on the phone much less fly half way around the world to be together. Neither said a word the entire trip. Serena shook her head and wiped away a tear. They lay holding each other for a long time before they decided to get up. Darien had to catch his plane soon or else he wouldn't make it to London on time. Serena put her face in her pillow and cried herself to sleep. we'll find a way. They got dressed and walked out to the living room." He kissed her. Quietly they walked to Serena's car and she drove to the airport. Darien turned to her. "Don't cry. They sat there miserable for a few minutes. He held her to him and had to will himself to let her go. They each gave Darien a hug. . The girls were there having breakfast. chèrie. Serena walked into her room and shut the door. I promise. I will think of something. He gave her one last look and walked out to the jet." Serena's eyes started to well up. they said their goodbyes as well. Totally depressed. sealing the promise.167 Chance Encounters "Then I guess it will have to be the holiday in February. Then he and Serena headed across the hall." He knew what her answer would be before she said it.
He didn't mention their conversation to Serena though. but nothing seemed to appeal to her. Especially since Lita had taken it upon herself to tell Darien what was going on with Serena and he didn't like it.168 - . She almost completely lost her appetite. She told him what was going on with Jeff.CHAPTER c 3 The next month was hell. He worried about her. dessert foods. Serena returned to her classes to find that Jeff had somehow registered for the same ones. One night while Serena was in the shower she snuck into her room and called him up on the cell phone. She told him how Serena wasn't eating and how she was tired a lot of the time. He would arrive at the class before her so she could see him as she walked in. He would have to arrange to come over sooner than they had planned. take out. he missed her as much as she did him. Serena thought she was going to go crazy. At the end of each day Serena was exhausted and usually went straight home. They tried cooking exotic foods. Darien was not impressed. How much they missed each other. This daily routine wore Serena out. did some reading and then went to sleep. Serena had lost too much weight and looked like a ghost of her former self. She would settle for a coffee in the morning and maybe a sandwich at lunch and that was it. They talked about what they had been doing and what they were going to do. Serena assured them that she was alright. He was there in all her classes lurking in the back. The girls worried about her. she missed him so much. but she wasn't interested. They wanted her to go see a doctor but she . Darien called at least twice a week. but they weren't so sure. She didn't know what he was thinking or what he was planning to do. They tried regular meals. and then sit until she walked past him at the end of class. He never said anything or did anything but just knowing he was there bothered Serena.
It got her out of the monotony of her days." She was just going to sit there anyways." Seiya came up behind her. Serena began feeling better when she started getting dressed and putting her makeup on. There was no arguing with them." Lita. They went into her room and turned on her stereo really loud and started going through her closet and drawers. It's the last chance we have to party before exams start. They all . "I don't feel like it. After all exams were coming up and having Jeff in all her classes didn't help at all." She looked at everyone and they all nodded." Serena sighed. "We've decided that enough is enough." "You guys." she tried weakly. The finally picked out black cigarette pants and a tight floral velour top." "Nope you're coming. "Hi guys what's going on?" she walked into the kitchen to grab a coffee. Everyone rushed around as usual getting ready. That she was just stressed out and she would get over it." "Nope. Mina and Raye dragged her off to find something to wear.. Serena walked into the suite after another long day to find everyone standing in the living room waiting for her. You can drink and have fun. "Fine." Serena shook her head. they had already planned everything. We can't have you walking around like a zombie anymore!" Lita grabbed her and sat her down on the couch. "Alright you guys.." Serena looked at the time. "Good we leave in a couple of hours. "We're all going out tonight to the clubs and you can't say no. But I'm driving.169 Chance Encounters refused saying that she was ok. It was already 6 o'clock. "You're coming. "I am. "Ok.
The girls climbed into the cab with Seiya while to boys got in the back and lay down to hide from cops. "All ready?" The girls nodded. "Wanna dance?" Serena nodded. A waitress headed over and asked them what they wanted. Mina and Serena went to the bar to order more drinks. "You know it's two for one night right?" She looked at them all." Raye nodded and the rest of the girls smiled. The guys were having a chugging contest and the girls were loving every minute of it. The Munk was the most popular club for the university crowd. "Let's go then!" They all piled into Raye's truck. "Cool. They were having a great time. It was the newest one in town and had the best ambience and sound. "What do you want? It's on me!" She shrugged. Several girls were crowded around their table looking very interested in what they were doing. At the club they got out and got into line. They were all ready and waiting on the girls." . They looked over at the guys and they looked like they were having a great time. They ordered another round and went back to the table the staked off as theirs. Raye ordered a vodka slime for each of the girls to start. They headed down and started dancing in the middle of the crowd. She reappeared moments later with the drinks. Upstairs were tables and funkily designed chairs and they managed to get a hold of three tables and enough chairs for them all. "Whatever you feel like. They pushed their way through the crowd and headed up the stairs. The took their drinks and headed over to the pool table. Before long the rest of the girls joined them. Serena looked at Mina. They played for a while and when their drinks were done they headed back to the bar.170 Chance Encounters finished up and went across the hall to the guys' place. They waited their turn to get past the bouncer and finally were all in. The girls laughed and finished off their drinks. Raye looked over at Serena.
Lita and Seiya were next to them and the rest of the guys were no where to be seen. Shrugging the two girls joined them and danced. Raye had collected a few admirers and they were dancing in the middle of the floor. She shook her head. She signaled to the girls that she was going to sit down. Serena looked at her. they downed them and headed back onto the dance floor. "Me too! You have to help me celebrate!" Raye signalled a waitress. "Celebrate what?" Serena looked at her. "Yup he lives back home. "Ok try this. "Two margaritas!" Her attention went back to Serena. Raye joined her. Raye guzzled hers. "I am single as of today!" "I didn't know you were going out with anyone. She danced with the girls until her legs hurt. Raye had never mentioned a boyfriend. "I warned you!" She ordered a couple of vodka shots next. He told me today that he's seeing someone else." She took the drink the waitress offered and held it out. It felt nice to get out and do something other than go to classes and the library." She handed her one of the shot glasses. "Yeah!" Serena tapped her hands to the beat of the music. They nodded.171 Chance Encounters Serena ordered a couple of tequila shooters. Serena took a sip. Mina started coughing and choking. I'm warning you it's strong. "Let's go back to table!" Mina followed still spluttering from the effects of the tequila. They both took the shots." Surprised. Serena laughed and slapped her on the back. Raye looked at the waitress. "Having fun?" Raye sat next to her at the table. . She felt a lot better now that she was out of the suite and away from work. "Let's dance!" Serena nodded and handed her a shot. Serena let herself have fun. "What happened?" Serena took hers and they touched rims.
" Serena and Lita joined her. She shook her head." Raye nodded. The songs started moments later and they started dancing and singing along." She grinned bitterly. Mina got up. Serena looked at everyone. Ouch that had to hurt. "Where's Raye?" They shrugged their shoulders at her. "Now I can find a great guy like Darien!" Serena smiled weakly. Serena decided to leave her for a few more minutes before heading down to get her. The DJ nodded and the girls went back to the dance floor. "Anyone want another drink? I'm heading to the bar. And these two were their favourite. but right now we have got to party!" She grabbed Serena's arm and pulled her down the stairs and to the DJ booth. Serena looked around for Raye. trying to keep each other up by holding on to one . "She's talking to a bunch of guys." Raye and Serena were notorious for their taste for disco music. "We want 'Jungle Boogie' and 'Heart of Glass'. She walked back to the others. they all looked so happy. "Yup. But it didn't work out quite as we planned. Serena grimaced. Lita and Mina were grinning happily. "Are you alright?" Raye nodded emphatically. She spotted her on the bottom level sitting at a table crowded by guys. Serena couldn't help but pick up on the good mood. even Raye was grinning ear to ear. "If you need to talk you know where to come. "Best thing that could happen!" She took another sip. By now the girls were getting tipsy and they waved their way to the bar. Serena walked over to the railing and leaned over it looking for Raye. The whole group was together on the floor amid the heaving mass of bodies. He got together with an old friend of ours and now I'm out of the picture. She grinned at Serena.172 Chance Encounters "We thought that we could make a long distance relationship work. They danced and sang for a while more and then headed back up to the table." They nodded. "Where is she then?" Serena pointed down.
"How about you?" he nodded at Serena. "You can forget about her. "Are you girls alright?" They nodded." Serena put up her hand. She's taken!" . "What'll it be?" They looked at each other. "I said leave us alone!" Lita and Mina looked completely shocked. He was shaking his head. "Sorry buddy. They giggled as they nearly tipped over a table." He walked back behind the counter. "Hey! Watch it!" Serena looked over and a very big guy stood up. The move brought back memories of Halloween. but the bartender came over and grabbed him. Mina shook her head. I'll get you another. She shrugged his hand off her shoulder. "We're not. "So what are good looking girls like you doing here all alone?" he smiled at them. Lita laughed. "Get lost!" He grabbed her arm again." He leered at Mina and Lita as well. "Margaritas!" He made them and handed them to the girls. "I think it's time for you to go pal. "You bitch!" He tried to grab for her again. "You almost made me spill my drink. "I know a way you can make it up to me." Lita nodded." He waved at one of the bouncers and he came over and took him away. Serena shrugged. especially when Serena turned to confront him. "Ok then have a couple on the house. away grabbed his drink and threw it in his face.173 Chance Encounters other." They walked away to the bar. My boyfriend is with some friends somewhere. we didn't mean to. Serena wrench her arm. He grabbed her by the shoulder and pulled her back.
Seiya stayed with Raye while Serena went and gathered everyone up. A bouncer approached them as they walked over to her. About ten minutes later Serena had everyone together and they left the club and piled back into the truck. "I think you're friend's had enough. He shook his head as he watched her sway in her seat." He pointed at Raye. Seiya leaned down and picked her up." She left the girls talking to the nice bartender.174 Chance Encounters Serena smiled and nodded. She nodded to them. she whipped her head around ready to confront who ever it was. Serena was about to say something else when she felt a hand on her shoulder. I think it's time to go home!" Raye shook her head and got up. "If she has anymore I'll have to ask her to leave!" They nodded and he walked back to his post. "Are you ready to go home yet?" Raye shook her head." This time she was too disoriented to argue. "These are my new friends Tom and Gord. She was smiling from behind her glass at a couple of guys. Laughing manically. "Hey having a good time?" She looked up to see Seiya's smiling face." She pointed at them. Not knowing what to expect. They spotted her some time later sitting on the stairs that led to the sunken dance floor. She shook her head and tapped Raye on the arm. She wove her way through the crowd and finally got to the table where Raye was. "Hey! How's it going?" Raye smiled. Serena nodded then pointed at Raye. "Great!" she took another sip. She walked down the stairs and headed over to where she saw Raye last. . "Raye it's time to go. "I've got something to do. "Mind if I join you?" Serena sat down next to her when she shook her head. "Hey Raye. She held up her hand displaying the glittering ring. she ran off into the crowd. Serena looked at the table and it was literally covered with empty glasses.
Who could be knocking on the door at this hour? "Hey Serena! I know you're awake open up!" She heard the familiar voice shout on the other side of the door. "Making coffee?" "Yeah. but the state he was left in made you wonder if he really was the winner. "Hey I knew you would be awake. jumping for the knives on the counter by the sink. Pulling the note out of the envelope she grabbed her mug out of the cupboard and put it down beside the stove." He looked at her. The girls helped the boys navigate the stairs and everyone got to their rooms safe and sound. As she walked past the front door she saw a white envelope laying the floor that she didn't see when she walked in. She felt safer and let out a relieved breath. She reached down a picked it up. It had her name on the front so she opened it while she filled the kettle and put it on the stove." .' Serena shuddered and dropped the note onto the countertop. "Hi Seiya. The sound had Serena's nerves bunching up again. She opened the door. Quickly she went over and pulled the blinds. It was Seiya. and that she wasn't going to throw up or anything. Seiya. they half carried half dragged Raye and Andrew up the hill to the building. "Yeah. After making sure Raye was safe in her bed. Serena then looked out the peephole.175 Chance Encounters Back at Rez. Serena walked out to the kitchen and made herself a coffee. "Are you ok? You don't look so happy. It was close to four o'clock in the morning. Andrew got into a drinking contest with some guys at the club." He looked at the kettle." She moved so that he could walk in. you wanna cup?" He nodded and sat on the couch. She ran. Apparently according to Kyle's drunken slur. She looked pale. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. He won. seeing no one outside she locked the door and leaned up against it. Slowly Serena relaxed again. The note had three simple words scrawled on it: 'I'm watching you. She was suddenly very aware of the window.
" She looked at him. but if you need me I'm just across the hall." Seiya nodded. "Ok. She quietly walked to her room and picked up the cell phone. She put the mugs down on the table and handed him the note. Jeff." Seiya got up and handed her the note. "Well there's the obvious. "I just got this. Seiya. Someone slipped it under the door. "Are you going to report this?" Serena nodded. Sere. But he hasn't done anything besides sit there.176 Chance Encounters Serena walked out with the coffees and the note. "Are you sure it's for you?" She handed him the envelope." He gave her a hug and left. "I've got to talk to Darien. "Darien said not to worry about it since she's done the freaking out thing a lot but nothing has ever become of her threats before. so it is for you." "There's always a first time." He looked at it and frowned. Any idea who?" "I have a few ideas. "I will first thing tomorrow. "And?" Serena exhaled slowly." Serena stared at the shut door for a while and then got up and locked it. "Fine. "'Night. "Care to share?" He was serious." Serena took a sip of her coffee and looked at him." Seiya was staring at her." ---- . alright? 'Night. I was threatened by his ex girlfriend. you want me to go with you?" Serena shook her head." He looked at the note one more time. Sabine. "He's somehow gotten into every one of my classes. "While I was in Vienna with Darien. "Ok.
cramming. At the end of it she decided that she definitely needed a break. Serena was one of the last people to finish off the final exams. Mina and Raye had already gone home to spend the holidays with their families. he missed everything about her. she must be something special. "Darien. only Lita and herself were left. She had gone to campus security about it but they said that they couldn't do anything about it because it was a one off thing and there was no concrete evidence as to who could have done it. Nephlite slapped his back. Or you'll go crazy. dinners. He shook his head. He missed Serena tremendously. He would be watching TV and see something funny and would think about how she would laugh at it and his heart would ache. "You will. But in the mean time you have to relax a bit. ---The rest of the month went by pretty quickly for Serena. In her own suite. You are going to drive yourself insane!" "I miss her so much! I have to find a way to be with her again. Serena walked into the suite. He never realized how empty the whole thing was until he was left to do it alone. her smile. Concert. Serena's own nerves were on the verge of a breakdown. interviews. both over the exams and waiting for another note to appear. . "Lita! I'm finally done!" She dropped her bag at the door and slumped on the couch." Nephlite had never seen Darien this messed up over anything before let alone a woman. Her laugh. coffee and jangled nerves. calm yourself. By the time she was done most of the students living in residence were already cleared out for the holidays. Darien called her every chance he got but it just wasn't enough. The exam period was the usual frenzy of tempers." Darien ran a hand through his hair and looked out the window at the busy Parisian streets below his flat.177 Chance Encounters Darien spent the month doing the same routine. Nephlite laughed at his friend.
"Yeah." She started stuffing clothes into her suitcase. Spend a couple of days with him and then head home to the family. The airport was practically a city itself. ok I won't!" Serena looked at the swirling snow outside her window and smiled. She could have told her to the exact minute. "Tonight. "Yeah about that. "Shut up! I've got one more to go at six." "Neither have I. She gave the driver the address and they were off." She walked to her room. Lita followed Serena to her room and sat on the bed. "Why are you grinning?" She arched a brow at Serena. "You're going to be seeing Darien sometime soon aren't you?" Serena smiled even wider.178 Chance Encounters Lita came out of her room. "What's it been? Two months?" Lita looked at Serena. "This is going to be great! I've never been to Paris before. "I can't wait to see him again. I've decided to catch him while he's still in Paris and surprise him." Serena dug into her pile of shoes and threw a couple of pairs into the case." "That's great so when do you leave?" Lita flipped through her notes. It was a wonder of metal and glass. He would be so surprised! About twelve hours later. Serena landed at Charles de Gaulle airport. She retrieved her bags and walked outside and hailed a cab. that sucks." "Ouch. "Wait a sec I know that grin." Serena couldn't stop smiling though. Serena gazed out the window in awe as the buildings zipped past. "Ok. As they drove into the city Serena caught . Can I come?" Lita laughed at the stern look she gave her.
"Mademoiselle? Voulez-vous quelque chose?" He eyed her wrinkled clothing and general dishevelled appearance with obvious disgust.179 Chance Encounters glimpses of its beauty. Just as she was contemplating going out and finding a hotel. He wasn't alone. He brought her a coffee. She had already looked at all the furniture and decorations. . Too tired to argue with him Serena nodded and sat down. Serena was getting fed up with waiting. Smiling. She identified all the paintings and she was successfully ignoring the little man's curious looks at her. She and Darien would have to climb it before she left. she settled back into her seat and watched the buildings and cars whiz past. Inside was a large lobby decorated with period furniture. "Oui. In the distance she saw the Eiffel Tower standing tall in the sky. A foreigner fantastique. Ou est l'appartement de Monsieur le Conte?" Serena hoped that she said that right. Serena stopped a moment to take in her surroundings and smiled. She nodded. Darien walked in the door." He spoke slowly. A little bald man approached her. She ignored his look and concentrated on quickly translating the phrase in her head. The driver stopped in front of a large building. It was very nice. Voulez-vous un café?" He motioned to the couch in the lobby. Mademoiselle. She sat and slowly sipped at it while she stared at the door. "Je ne sais pas. Il retournerait plus tard. "Quand est-ce qu'il retourner?" He shrugged. The doorman held open one off the glass doors and tipped his hat. Serena got out and paid the driver. About an hour later. He looked at her wearily. She picked up her bags and walked to the front door of the building. "Il n'est pas ici maintenant. Serena mumbled a 'merci' and walked through. Serena started to get irritated with the man.
180 Chance Encounters With him were Nephlite and a beautiful blonde woman. "You lied to me. Running. Darien was just like the rest of them. He looked at the woman and realized what Serena must have seen. he left the woman and Nephlite without a word and chased her out the door. He must have heard her because Darien looked at her then. she couldn't believe what she was seeing. "Serena!" Darien pounded on her window. . "Allez! Allez!" She was shouting at the driver to go. Not believing her eyes she stood and stared at them. She pretended not to hear him and shut the door. Serena simply turned away from him and walked out the door. Oh no. All she could manage was a whispered. He'd have to tell his friends later that Darien le Conte himself made a scene and his cab was in the middle of it. but he wasn't listening to her. What she must be thinking. "Serena!" She was here! His smile faded when he saw the stricken expression on her face. Instead. "Asshole!" "Serena! Please come out!" Darien pleaded with her through the window. Serena got up and went to go and greet him but froze when Darien gave the leggy blonde a hug and lovingly kissed her temple. Finally. No! Blank faced. Relieved that the waiting was over. Serena stared straight ahead like he wasn't even there. He lied to her. but saw who it was and stopped. "Attendez!" The driver stuck his head out ready to shout at him. he sat back and watched enthralled with what was going on. His facial expression changed from disbelief to incredible joy when he saw her. She pounded the glass behind his head." Her voice was barely audible through the window. a lying pig. Her head swam. He made sure to take in all the gritty details. "Serena!" He caught up with her as she was getting into a cab. She blinked and refocused her eyes. 'Darien'. Darien ran up to the cab and slammed his hand on the hood and windshield. She glared at him. He was more interested in watching the scene.
. How could she not believe him? He was always completely honest with her. He looked her over and realized she was fast asleep. Serena stood gripping her bag. Fabienne. Serena managed a weak smile.. Serena thought. Serena looked at him. "Chère I'm so happy to see you!" Darien was pulling her into to building again. Darien must have told her about me. The other woman smiled sweetly then Fabienne started to get blurry. this is Fabienne Noyez. How can you believe him? just because he's great looking and given you everything. "Nice to meet you. She nodded hello to Nephlite then turned her attention to the woman. this is my Serena. The room started to spin just before everything went black. Telling herself she was being an idiot she opened the door. She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Kicking the door shut he walked into the bedroom and placed her gently on the bed. Nephlite's sister. He practically yanked her out of the cab and hugged her gleefully. . "Please Serena! You know I would never lie to you. Light flashed off of the ring on her finger drawing her eye to it. Serena followed him to where Nephlite and the woman were standing. Darien panicked. "Serena. Still. I'll introduce you to her.181 Chance Encounters "Serena! It's not what you think! She's Nephlite's sister! She's like a sister to me!" Darien looked desperate." The woman nodded a smile of recognition coming over her face." Though she didn't want to. Head pounding. I love you!" He yelled it loud enough that several people walking by stopped to look. Without a second thought he picked her up and brought her up to his apartment ignoring the curious looks of the other patrons." She shook hands with her trying to smile." "Come. he managed to catch her as she slid boneless to the floor. "Hi Darien.
" She looked at him. "Chèrie. "You're the kindest man I know. Serena found herself nestled comfortably in a large soft bed with Darien kneeling on the floor beside her looking worried. Darien gently helped her lay back down. Darien sat and watched over her until her eyes started to flutter. are you alright?" He put a cool hand on her forehead. "I'm so glad you are here." She tried to sit up but her head swam as she did. He caressed her cheek tenderly. You just finished exams and had to fly all the way over here. Serena must have been exhausted! She had gotten too thin." She put her hand on his. Serena looked at him. I was tired and the flight was terrible. I just wasn't expecting to see what I saw. Serena sat up slowly.182 Chance Encounters Sighing in relief. His heart swelled and he kissed her gently. I understand. He pulled a ticket off the softly illuminated end table next to his bed and handed it to Serena. "But you have your own plane." He smiled at her.." He stopped and shook his . "I'm sorry I jumped to the wrong conclusion." Darien silenced her with a kiss. He wasn't like Jeff. but I gave the pilots the holiday off. She came to him! She must have left right after her exams. When she came to. Why was she being so suspicious? This was Darien.. But you really have to stop thinking that I am like your ex. Darien knelt on the floor next to her and watched her while she slept. It was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for him." Sighing. not in the least. Or was he lying about that? "Oui. "Doucement. "Chèrie." He grinned sheepishly and reached behind him. "Yeah I'm alright. I missed you so much! To tell you the truth I was going to fly over to you tomorrow. "You do not think that I am so cruel as to keep them away from their families on the holidays do you?" "Of course not. "A commercial flight?" She looked at the ticket puzzled. You must be so tired!" He kissed her forehead. Serena. Serena looked pale and even more fragile than before. You were tired.
"I can't believe you flew all that way alone." He looked at her. Darien. "I can't live my life in fear Darien. Serena smiled at him. What happened about that?" Serena completely forgot about it. "I missed you so much. "Now. "But all I care about is the fact that you are here with me right now. "Serena what about that note you got. "I almost went crazy without you." He tightened his arms around her.183 Chance Encounters head when she opened her mouth to apologize. She looked at Darien." "Me too. "What were you just thinking of. chèrie?" He had seen the strange look on her face. "Useless." He held her to him. I can keep an eye on you that way." She laughed too at the thought. Security couldn't do anything about it since I never got another one and I had no proof as to who could have written it. "Visions of secret service men entered my mind." "I can have my men keep an eye on you. they win." Images of men in black suits and dark sunglasses danced their way through Serena's mind." He kissed her again her taste was intoxicating. "No I think I can live without that." Darien laughed. She stopped at his happily sparkling eyes. If I do. She looked at his face gazing at every feature." Serena shook her head. He was smiling impishly. "Stay with me Serena. . how about saying hi to me properly?" ---A few hours later they lay in bed exhausted holding each other." Darien pulled her to him and held her." She pulled him back to her. They're all useless. "Nothing ever came of it. suddenly serious.
"Whatever.then what would you like to do first?" He sat up and crossed his legs." Serena sighed. Serena noticed that it wasn't so much as a bedroom as a section of a much.184 Chance Encounters "Serena you will be here for Christmas. And see the Arc de Triomphe. "Ok. "Sure. "So? I'm more interested in spending time with you. "I wish I could stay longer. I've been wondering for a while." He helped her out of bed. What she saw brought a smile to her face. The studio was huge and surprisingly modern. But first I want to see what you're apartment is like." "Ok." Serena laughed. "You don't want some sleep? You have had a very long day. It was all white and hard wood floors and was accented with chrome . Serena grabbed the T-shirt she was wearing and pulled it over her head. period decorated type room." "Ok . I can sleep when I get to my mom's house." He toyed with her fingers. From what the lobby looked like she expected a much more sombre. Oh and go to the Louvre. ok we'll do all those things. much larger room." He looked thoughtful. "I can't." "Me too. "How about I call them up and they can come here?" Serena smiled. "I guess we should get up and do something huh?" Darien grinned. non? My parents are dying to meet you." She stretched and smiled some more. Darien pulled on a pair of jeans and lead her out of the bedroom. But I have to climb the Eiffel Tower before I leave. and the Sacré Coeur-" Darien laughed and held up his hands. I'd like to meet them. looking at her." "Sure. I have to go back to my parents' house to spend it with them.
He did a very nice job of decorating the place. . a matching love seat and a black leather chair and ottoman. So you think you could live here?" Darien held her to him. Except that it's humungous!" He laughed. The countertops looked like marble and the cupboard doors were glass showing off the dishes and glasses enclosed within them. The 'living room' had a deep blue couch. Off to one side was another couch in front of a fireplace. Serena. The studio wasn't exactly severe but it definitely needed a feminine touch. There was a large Jacuzzi tub and a shower in the corner of the room. Serena nodded. Serena walked up to the window and looked at the glittering sight." Serena leaned back and looked at him. She smiled. The appliances were all done in what looked like brushed steel. earlier. "So what do you think of my home chèrie?" He looked shyly at her waiting for an answer. One entire wall was glass and the pulled curtains showed a gorgeous view of the city. why didn't you use your key? You could have come straight up. "You're right it does look almost exactly like my place." "Good. I love it! It's great!" She walked to him and gave him a hug. A deep purple chaise decorated a side of the room along with some potted plants. "Darien." She wrinkled her nose at the thought of him. Serena was very impressed but she wrinkled her nose. It was huge. He just couldn't seem to keep his hands off of her. "I'm glad you like it. She then wandered into the bathroom. "I forgot about it when I was talking to that little man. "Definitely. Serena turned and ran her hand over the entertainment centre that was against another wall and walked over to the grand piano.185 Chance Encounters lamps. She ran her hands over the large book case that was stuffed full with books and magazines. The kitchen had hard wood floors as well. black and white photos and vivid paintings which added some colour to the walls. Night had fallen and the entire city was lit up and twinkled in the growing darkness.
"Darien. You like it. "No.186 Chance Encounters "Did Didier give you a hard time?" He ran his hand through her hair. "Oh well. "It is a Lotus Esprit. he shifted gears and . Did you need to get some sleep?" He ran a finger down her cheek. I didn't realize how late it was. sleek European car that she didn't recognize. You should have seen the looks he gave me. What did matter was that she was in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with the man she loved. It was so beautiful. In the corner of the garage was a sexy looking racing bike. whatever. And dark. white and black with the name Kawasaki emblazoned in the side. non?" "Yes." He motioned to another car and a motorbike. Smiling. She slid into her seat and looked around." "Yeah it was like he hated foreigners or something." "If not we could take the other one or the bike. Serena's eyes widened when she saw it. It was snug and comfortable. The other car was a fiery red Ferrari." Half an hour later they were speeding down the streets of Paris in Darien's car. It was a gorgeous. "He won't once he learns who you are. She gasped when she saw it. He led her down to the parking area under the apartment building to his car. Deftly." She shrugged. She looked out the window again and sighed. We will get dressed and I will show you. He opened the door for her and she got in. chèrie. It was beautiful though. It was red. I was supposed to be in Canada remember?" "Great! So what is there to do in Paris at night?" "Come. My schedule is cleared for the next few days. she turned back to Darien. She definitely wanted to have a ride on that before she went home. Darien slid into his seat and started the engine." Whatever the little man thought of her it didn't matter. black. tearing her eyes away from the car she looked at where he pointed out the bike. Darien saw her admiring gaze.
The first time I came here was when I was a child." They stood and looked at it for a long while before deciding to walk some more. Easily. They glowed in the dim light of the street lamps. sweetie. to be a part of the magic and the beauty. Serena. I finally got the chance a couple of years ago. "Paris is so beautiful." She smiled up at him. Minutes later he veered off the road and parked the car on the sidewalk." He waved his hand at the other cars. Ever since then I have always wanted to move here. Good timing non?" He paused and pointed ahead of them. Serena stared at it." "Well you got your wish. it's the only place to park." He looked at Serena and smiled wistfully. My parents decided to come for a little vacation. In the distance was the Eiffel Tower. "Darien are you allowed to park here?" Serena found it strange to park on the sidewalk like this.187 Chance Encounters they were off. Every single car was parked on the sidewalk. Its golden glow dominated the night sky." Serena turned and looked in the direction Darien pointed and gasped. It was lit up from within. he swerved in and out of traffic. "Look. Darien lead her to the Louvre and showed her the famous glass . "It is. Serena sighed. it's incredible!" He came up behind her and held her to him wrapping his arms around her shoulders and linking his hands in front." Darien put his arm around her waist and started walking. "Oui. "Oui. "You know. Serena looked up and down the street. guiding her down the street. "Weird. But I just moved into that apartment a few weeks before I met you. "Darien." She looked at the buildings. speeding past the slower cars. "I thought you might like it.
"Serena. A hundred channels and nothing on. I don't think I have ever seen it without traffic.188 Chance Encounters pyramid. Darien must have fallen asleep as well. "Ok. but laughed when she punched him in the shoulder. because when Serena woke up she and Darien were cuddled up on the couch still. She fell asleep after the opening scene. you can see the rest of the city tomorrow." He put it in and sat back down on the couch. Darien laughed." They took off their coats and walked into the kitchen to grab some food. It must be at least 1am!" She now realized why it was so easy for him to navigate around Vancouver. "Look at this. Serena nodded. got up and started going through a collection of DVD's. then headed over to the couch and settled down. Her arm it was numb from . Serena stared in awe again unable to speak. She loved this place. "Sure. "I can't believe how much traffic there is." He gave her a pout. who looked at them interested in who was with Darien. Darien turned on the TV and started surfing the channels trying to find something to watch." He led her back to the car. She turned to him and smiled. They kicked off their shoes at the door. Serena put her feet up and leaned against him putting her head on his shoulder. "The city never sleeps. chèrie. Darien smiled. They walked past the night guard. Serena laughed." Before she knew it he was parking the car in its space again. "How about this?" He held up Pretty Woman. Compared to Paris. Serena smiled as she walked in the door. Before she could say anything she yawned. "Come. He was back on the street at breakneck speed again Serena turned to Darien. "Let's curl up on the couch and watch a movie." He threw the remote on the couch. They ignored his curious gaze and took the elevator up to the apartment. what would you like to do? Watch a movie? Sleep? Or anything else?" he wiggled his eyebrows and smiled playfully. Vancouver was a sleepy little village.
He grinned at her and picked her up and took her to the bedroom. At around ten they stirred again. he gave her an appreciative growl. They got into the glass enclosed shower and Darien turned it on as Serena shut the door." "Let's go out. Darien?" She laughed at the grin on his face. The light streamed in the frosted glass windows. There is a nice little café not to far from here. In the daylight it was even better. He recognised Darien it seemed. The streets were filled with people and cars zoomed past. . They got out of the shower some time later." He got up." He sat up and looked around groggily. brightly illuminating the room. The slight movement woke him up. loving the contentedness she felt when she was with him." He looked at Serena. Barely awake. "So what do you think?" He nodded at the little coffee-house. Serena snuggled up to Darien breathing in his scent. "It definitely looks Parisian!" She followed him to a little table and they sat down. "Monsieur le Conte! Bon matin! Qu'est-ce que vous voulez aujourd'hui?" "Cappuccino s'il vous plait. She turned to him. Serena sat back in her chair and watched all the activity going on around her. The city was so full of life even though it was a chilly morning. Smiling he looked at Serena his eyes widened appreciatively then turned back to look at Darien.189 Chance Encounters being trapped underneath her and she struggled to move it. Breakfast. Serena smiled. "Seriously. The sunlight was barely bright enough to dimly light up the living room. The café was crowded and smoky. Serena smiled. It was still very early. got dressed and walked down the street to the café. They arrived at the café within minutes. "What do you want for breakfast. "Join me for a shower?" "Ok" She got out and followed him to the bathroom. A waiter approached them and stopped. Serena didn't say a word. "Morning.
"I dreaded that class because he use to make us go to the front of the class and speak. you up for the Louvre then? I've heard that you can spend days there." She looked at Darien. "This is so good! Here. "I haven't! You can thank my high school French teacher for that. I thought you said that you hadn't spoken it in a while. It was horrible!" "How else are you to learn?" He laughed." She thought back and laughed at how ridiculous the whole thing was." She laughed.190 Chance Encounters The waiter followed suit. "So what shall we do today?" She brought it back to her mouth and took another bite." He sat back and watched her eat. "It was so sad!" They laughed while the waiter returned. It melted in her mouth. "I hated it! I always got tongue tied and couldn't say anything except a garbled mess. Had she said that right? He gave her an almost imperceptible nod and smiled. "That's up to you chèrie. He made sure the language was branded into our brain by the end of every class. Darien thanked him and sipped his cappuccino. I can do that. "Sure. s'il vous plait. He placed their drinks and Serena's croissant in front of them." . I will take you where ever you want to go." He took her hand and smiled. "Ok. have some. He couldn't take his eyes off of her. "Mademoiselle?" "Un croissant et un café au lait." She sipped her coffee. The waiter walked off to get their order. Serena took a bite of the croissant. She was so delightful." She held the pastry in front of Darien so that he could take a bite. "You speak French quite well chèrie.
When Darien came out he found she had redecorated parts of the room. the Egyptian cat goddess. It made him happy to see her make herself at home. "Would you mind making me a salad?" "Of course not." "What would you like?" She pointed at the cans of Coke and some vegetables." He smiled as he watched her take off her coat and hung it up. They walked in and put down the things that they bought. They spent the entire day wandering through looking at all the paintings and sculptures housed there. and a few prints of several different works. "So you are changing things already are you?" "You don't mind do you?" Worried. She took the statue and placed it on a table next to the couch and brought out the prints and started looking for a place to hang them." He kissed her nose and went to work. "That was fun. It was dark before they got back home. Did she over step her bounds? Serena hadn't even given it a second thought when she started changing things around. "Want something to eat?" He went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. And besides I'm sure you can do a better job of decorating . "It was. Serena went back out the living room and looked at the stuff they bought. I'm famished. Serena was starved. "Don't be silly. Darien bought her a small statue of Bast." He put the bowls of salad and the cokes down on the coffee table. she came up behind him and put her arms around his waist. "Yes. "I'm glad you can settle in here so easily. Then she kicked off her shoes and padded across the floor to him.191 Chance Encounters They sat for a little while longer before heading back to the hotel for the car and heading to the Louvre. He smiled." Serena used her key this time. This place is as much yours as it is mine. she looked at him. Then they wandered through the shops.
I will do that now. This is good. He watched her in amazement. "Weren't you going to call your parents?" Serena smiled at him. He'd never seen her like this. Serena et moi. "They will be here tomorrow. He was so amazing. His Serena was nervous. It's amazing what a little oil. "Mmmm. "Do not worry Serena. Bon. "You're dressing?" She took another bite." More than a little actually. that's quick. Oui." He hung up and looked at Serena smiling. So you like my dressing?" He smiled. They like you already.192 Chance Encounters than I can. comment allez-vous? Bon. "Ah oui. Maman. "You mean you made this?" "Yes. She picked up her drink and gulped it down." "Well they are dying to meet their future daughter in law. I think you've done the place beautifully. "You are not getting nervous are you?" He watched as Serena rubbed her palms on her jeans. "A little. "Allô? Maman. They'll take the train in the morning and will be here by the afternoon. A bientôt. avez vous le temps a nous visiter? Oui." "Thanks." Serena's eyes widened." He pulled her down on the couch. elle m'a surprise. He dialled and waited for a second before someone picked up." "It's great!" She took another mouthful. It's actually my maman's recipe." He grinned at her. "Wow. vinegar and seasoning can do. "That's not true! You've done a wonderful job. Elle est arrivée hier." She decided to wait a little longer before she changed anything else and took a bite of the salad." He reached over and picked up the phone." He wanted to ease some of her tension. "You didn't build me up to be some superwoman did you?" She drank .
Serena looked around some more while sitting with Darien. "They will love you. "You have made me the happiest man. She leaned up against his chest and sighed. I just told them the truth. Her own heart was beating just as rapidly." Darien was leaning back on the couch enjoying the moment when she said it. Nothing could be more perfect. They sat in front of the fire for most of the night. That you are a beautiful. He moved from her lips to her cheeks and down her neck. Serena felt his heart pounding. her throat was incredibly dry. "I'll marry you. talking." He grinned hugely. He looked down at her puzzled. He kissed her breasts through the thin fabric of her bra. intelligent and wonderful woman. She never ceased to amaze him. "Yes. He breathed a ragged breath. And now she was going to be with him forever. "Vraiment? Really? You will be my wife?" He gathered her up in his arms and held her. "No of course not. Here she was in a romantic city with the most incredible man she'd ever known. "What did I ask?" She sat up and faced him. Darien .193 Chance Encounters some more. "Yes." He kissed her. "And that's not building me up?" "Serena." She held out her hand letting the ring catch the light. Everything felt so perfect. And she really loved this man. She really loved this apartment. Just yesterday. I love you Darien and I want to marry you. "Yes. He looked at her and saw the love in her face." He slowly undid her blouse and kissed her collarbone. he thought he might never see her again after that episode with Fabienne. "Yes?" He had no clue what she was agreeing to. "I love you too." She stared at him. She looked at Darien and watched the firelight flicker over his face." He kissed her again and again very gently." "Serena!" he kissed her. don't worry. She smiled." He put a hand on her knee and leaned over. He whispered into her throat.
She brought the bowls out to the dining room and put them on the table. Serena was in a complete panic over leaving everything so late and combined with her nervousness it was quite a scene. Darien held out a little black box." He pointed her in the direction of the kitchen and patted her bum. Serena quickly chopped up the fruit and added it to the bowl then dumped some milk over it. "Chèrie. "Darien. This one . I should do at least one. When she came out with the glasses Darien was there waiting at the table for her. slow down!" Darien grabbed her as she ran past. Darien took it and came down to her. taking her to his. They stayed there the rest of the night before falling into an exhausted sleep in the early hours of the morning. He lay Serena on the bed and she smiled up at him. She flitted in and out of rooms dragging things this way and that. She held her hand out to him. breakfast is done. Inside was another brilliantly shimmering ring. "Serena. I was going to give you this last night but we were kind of busy. Serena looked at it then looked at Darien. "Darien let go! I've got to clean the bathroom!" "Serena. Serena washed her hands and opened the fridge.194 Chance Encounters kissed her again and picked her up. "Darien?" She took it from him and opened it. I'll do the bathroom and you make breakfast ok? You have already cleaned all the other rooms." She went back in to squeeze some orange juice. Serena was running in from the living room having just dusted and arranged. He had been watching her while he washed the dishes." He grinned at her when she blushed. ---Late the next morning they got up and tidied up the apartment before Darien's parents arrived. He didn't know whether to be amused or worried. no their bedroom. She pulled out some fruit then went to the cupboards and got some muesli.
Darien's mom was a beautiful woman. "Bonjour. He put it on her other hand then took the new ring and put it on her ring finger." They hugged her again. "Maman.it's gorgeous! But what about." Serena smiled. Darien opened it. I love it. Serena looked at him wide eyed. There was a knock at the door." He kissed her hand." Serena hugged him to her and kissed him. . Serena smiled at the man and woman on the other side.. he shrugged and they headed to the door. Would you like some breakfast?" Serena motioned at the table where their breakfast was waiting.. "Non. "You look great and so does the apartment so don't worry. "No we already ate on the train over. call us maman and papa. Darien took her hand and gently pulled the ring off. Was everything alright? How did she look? "They are here chèrie." Josette le Conte pulled them down on the couch. Darien's mom gave her a big hug and so did his dad." she held out her left hand and looked at the other ring.. "Just think of it as an official engagement ring.. Madame et Monsieur le Conte. "That's so sweet. Serena gasped.195 Chance Encounters was a large but simple marquis cut diamond that glittered in the light. They both looked at Serena and smiled." He put his arm around Serena's shoulders. I love you. Papa. "Darien. His father looked like an older version of Darien the only big difference was the grey that accented his temples. She was slight and had blonde hair and though she had a few faint wrinkles that did nothing to dull her beauty. "Merci." Darien gave them both a hug and kissed their cheeks." He read her mind again "How do you do that?" Smiling.
It was late when Darien's parents decided to leave. You two should spend some time alone together. We can't leave the vineyard for long. That night they returned to the apartment and talked some more over coffee and pastries that Josette bought on their way home. we have to get going. We'll catch a cab. They went shopping at les Galleries Lafayette and had lunch at a great restaurant then toured to rest of the sights. The men talked about sports while Serena and Josette flipped through wedding magazines that they bought on an impulse. Christophe le Conte possessed a dry wit and was able to tell Serena just about everything she wanted to know about the sights. Darien's mom . "Yes. When will we see you again Serena?" Smiling. "The last time we did it was a disaster." "No dear. "Won't you stay here with us?" Serena smiled at them." They looked at each other and laughed. She loved to talk. Serena completely relaxed as the day went on. Darien was right they were very nice and seemed to like Serena a lot." Darien and Serena smiled at each other. She smiled. "So you are going to get married?" She definitely got right to the point. "We'll have to get started on the preparations then won't we?" Darien's mom had a giant smile on her face. "We have more than enough room. Serena had a wonderful time. Darien's mom was intelligent and funny. They spent the entire day with Darien's parents." She took Serena's hand and looked at the ring.196 Chance Encounters "We want to hear more about the two of you. no. "Do you want us to drop you off? "No." Serena and Darien walked them to the door.
" He winked at Serena. let's go to bed. Perhaps we'll drop by and visit. just someone wanting an interview. Something was wrong and he was lying to her about it." "It is nothing." He looked at her but avoided her eyes." She leaned back." Serena looked at him. He needed to get her into a room with fewer windows. "Your parents are great. "Allô?" She looked at him. Grinning. he thought. Please forgive me for lying to you. "Darien! What is the matter with you?" She looked at him." Christophe pat Darien on the back. "Are you ok?" He snapped out of his trance." He pulled her up off the couch and pushed her toward the bedroom. He listened to whoever it was and didn't look very happy. They said their good byes and then went and sat on the couch. "No one chèrie. Darien and I were planning to go to Venice. Didn't I tell you they would love you?" He nudged her ribs smiling happily. Without saying a word he hung up.197 Chance Encounters looked at them. "Who was on the phone?" Serena watched Darien. "They are so funny!" "Yes they are. "Oui." He got up and drew the curtains. Everything is ok. The phone rang. "Come. "Make sure you do son. In February. What was going . He had a peculiar look on his face. Darien answered it. "I have to go home tomorrow morning. "Darien?" He ignored her. He looked very agitated. Serena? Oh. Then I'll be at school again in January. "Darien tell me what's wrong.
. He was going to get her out of here tonight. "Serena. You told me a lie. I told you. "I'm taking a bath. He punched the wall. "A lie. Serena sat in the bathtub thinking." She walked off to the bathroom without a second glance at him. "Darien! Stop it! Now tell me what's going on!" Serena was getting mad now. He saw it in her eyes. Better angry than injured." He continued to push her. Darien heard the bathroom door lock. Darien. In the bathroom she locked the door and sat down on the chaise completely bewildered. Really angry. He went to the bedroom and started packing up her stuff. Break off contact with Serena immediately or she dies. He went and locked the front door and proceeded to pull every curtain in the apartment shut." he started lamely. It had to be someone he didn't want to hear from. It was totally distorted so he couldn't make out whether it was a man or a woman but the voice had chills running down his spine. though. Darien felt completely and utterly useless.. Why was he lying? What was he hiding from her? He saw the way his face paled when he heard the voice on the phone. Why was he lying to her? Something was so obviously wrong when he said everything was alright. What was he going to do? He had to get her somewhere safe. It would be just so easy to pull the trigger and end it all now. you two look pretty cosy cuddled up on the couch like that. For the first time in his life. Damn! What was he going to do? She was angry. Or perhaps . If you call her I'll know about it. Remember I'm watching you. He could still hear the voice. Just so you know I have a gun aimed at her head right now.198 Chance Encounters on with him? "Nothing." Serena looked at him disgusted. If you go to her I'll know about it. This had to be a sick joke. Call the cops and it's game over.
He parked in front of the building. He wasn't there. "Didier je n'ai pas le temps!" He was about to run past when the object in Didier's hand caught his eye. She looked all over the apartment. He never hated the traffic more. Au revoir. He ran into the lobby and past the desk when Didier stopped him. She would be heading for the airport. Darien stared at it. It was too late. Darien ran back to his car and tried to catch up with the cab. He lost sight of it in the traffic. She found her bag packed and sitting just inside the door. In the lobby she saw that little man. She grabbed the bag and slung it on the bed and got dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt. "Monsieur le Conte.199 Chance Encounters someone he didn't want her hearing. "Donnez la clef a Monsieur le Conte s'il vous plait. Serena got out of the tub and dried herself off. "Merde! Ou est elle?" He grabbed the key off him and shouted at him again for an answer. He would go there and try to stop her and explain before she . Serena reached into her sweatshirt and took off the necklace with the key on it. I take it he wants me to leave." Without waiting for a reply she walked out front and hailed a cab. She was going home. Fuming. Darien slammed his hands on the steering wheel. behind a cab that was pulling away. ---Darien had packed up Serena's bag then ran down the stairs and jumped into his nearest car. She walked up to him. He was no where to be found. Votre clef. Merci. Didier. Serena walked into the bedroom. She wrapped the towel around herself and walked out to the living room where she left him. again." He pointed at the spot the cab just vacated. "Elle est partie dans un taxi." He gave him the key with the necklace still attached. She picked up the bag and walked out grabbing her coat and stuffing on her shoes along the way. She was going to find out.
Serena was completely enraged from the look of it." He started to type at the computer. Darien. Serena steadied herself and tried to speak without breaking down. She just walked out on the most amazing man she'd ever known. Things were going well. Even through the curtains. He smiled back kindly. In a few minutes that would all be gone. Serena blinked. his incredibly long. . she would never return to Darien and he would be free again. She was slamming doors and throwing things around the apartment. smiling. The cab dropped Serena off at the international terminal thirty minutes later. ---Serena sat at the back of the cab completely sapped of any strength. She probably wouldn't talk to him again. When she got there it was already empty. "Hi. And there was no way Darien was going to reach her in the traffic. lush lashes. She thought back about everything they had done and shared. Serena closed her eyes and tried not to see his face. She reached into her pockets and didn't bother counting. This was good. "We'll see what we can do. It was over. she handed him her ticket. Those magnetic. his black hair. "I was wondering if I could take an earlier flight?" She smiled weakly at the guy working there. She handed him her last few bills and got out. A very good sign indeed.200 Chance Encounters took off. Minutes later she was on her way to the departure gate clutching her new ticket in her cold hand. fighting back the tears." Her voice cracked. the actions were telling. She breathed in slowly. ---From the window across the street a figure stood watching the action smiling. The poor girl looked really upset. She walked to the Air Canada counter. sapphire blue eyes. Hands trembling. If it kept developing this way. Interested eyes watched as Serena pulled off the rings as she walked out the door.
helpless and frustrated Darien threw the phone against the wall and watched the pieces fall to the floor. He closed his eyes and put his head on the steering wheel. It was impossible. How could he forget about her? . He walked into the room and put his keys on the table. Darien picked them up and gripped them in his hand staring blankly at the happy brides mocking him from the magazine covers. He couldn't believe she was gone. He slowed behind a mini van just outside of the airport." A flight attendant was waving at her to hurry. He turned around at the airport and returned to the apartment completely devastated. "Serena?" "No it's not Serena. Darien gripped the wheel and looked up. out of the window. Serena took one look back." She was gone. He was yelling at cars completely frustrated.201 Chance Encounters "Please hurry Miss. Darien honked and shouted at them for being so useless. The roads were just too congested. "Goodbye Darien. An angry honk brought him out of his reverie. forget about her. He looked up in time to see a plane take off. "Take my advice. He instantly knew that she was on that flight. In the back of her mind she had hoped that Darien would come for her. We're holding the plane for you. Seeing no one. The phone rang. Serena turned sadly and boarded the plane." ---Darien drove like a maniac swerving in and out of traffic. Darien ran to it. Serena had left the phone he gave her and both rings next to the magazines she and his mother were gleefully flipping through just hours before. "Serena." Then there was a click. He stared at the plane as it disappeared into the night sky." It was that voice again. Angry.
Do you have any proof?" . Darien shook his head forlornly. He sat on the couch and buried his head in his hands. "I doubt it. She watched as Paris got smaller and smaller until the clouds obscured it so she could no longer see the twinkling lights. I just know that he's hiding something from me. She took off her coat and tried to get comfortable. "You see I just walked out on my fiancé. "I think he was seeing someone else." Serena took a shuddering breath. letting the tears stream down her face." "Oh my. But why dear?" She smiled sympathetically." "My dear. Serena stared out the window as the plane took off." She thought about how strangely he was acting. The task was impossible considering she just did the most excruciating she'd ever had to do. She took her hands away from her face and looked at her miserably. Hands over her face Serena nodded. "Come now. If it was the only way to keep her safe he would do it gladly. Serena looked at her pitiful reflection and put her head in her hands. the most wonderful thing in his life was gone. "What's the matter dear? Are you ok?" The lady touched her arm lightly." She stopped talking and tried to control her breathing. The lady smiled kindly.202 Chance Encounters Serena. There was no other explanation for it. Her husband. "How do you know?" she put her hand on Serena's. "Do you want to talk about it?" Serena shook her head. It might be good to talk. ---Serena sat in her seat on the plane. Serena presumed. He had to try though. Next to her was a kind looking elderly lady and next to her was an elderly man. "Just how he was acting.
I'll do that. The woman took Serena's cold hands into her warm wrinkly ones and smiled softly." She put her hand on the arm of the man beside her and looked at him lovingly. It was still a small town with nothing to see. We had a little misunderstanding and I took it the wrong way. A few people recognised her and said hello. Serena got on another bus and took it up to where her parents' house was. She took the bus into town." "Thanks ma'am. That took another hour. She closed her eyes cursing herself. She didn't even know his number so she couldn't use the plane phone. Serena got on another plane and landed at the tiny Terrace/Kitimat airport an hour and a half later. I was going out with this wonderful young man. I admit it would have been useless for him to follow me. I was very stubborn. Everything ." "What did he do?" "Nothing he gave up. By the time she got into town she was exhausted. Serena would have to wait until he called her. She knocked on the door and waited. But I missed him so much that after a few weeks I came around and went and talked to him. She got off and looked around. "Let me tell you a story. Nothing had changed at all. I just walked away without a fight. Not wanting to talk to anyone. "My advice to you is to talk to him and find out what is going on for real. I did the very same thing when I was about you age.203 Chance Encounters Serena shook her head. I wouldn't have listened. Serena stood in the snow looking around. We straightened everything out and we've been together ever since." Serena leaned back and closed her eyes. She reached into her coat pocket for her phone and remembered that she left it at the apartment. He stirred in his sleep. Serena waded through the snow at the bus stop and walked down the street to the large house on the corner. She waved at them and walked away. Serena turned and looked at all the other houses on the street. He probably has a good reason for what he was doing. Serena talked to the lady and her husband until they got off in Vancouver. I should at least let him explain. Fight for what you love. She thanked the woman for her advice and said goodbye to them both.
204 Chance Encounters still looked the same. Oh shit! Serena groaned inwardly. She started to shake her head but noticed tags for Paris airport were hanging off of it. You can't pry him away from work if you used a crowbar. "Your hair. She shook her head at their lack of imagination." Serena noticed her mom had new couches. "Why were you in a foreign country when you were suppose to be doing your exams? Have you dropped out of school?" She paused and looked at her." She shrugged like it was no big deal. Even the Christmas lights were arranged in the same patterns on the houses. "I was there. "Why have you got tags for Charles de Gaulle airport on your bag?" She looked at Serena. You could have at least tried to make an effort. You know him. The door opened. dear." She waved her hand dismissing the furniture. "Why were you in Paris? . stricken. In all the rush and confusion. "How were your exams?" Serena took a look at her mother's own perfectly done hair and face and shrugged. No use trying to make up a story now." She toyed with her hair. Your face. "Serena. "Where's dad?" "Working as usual." She shook her head at Serena. There was an awkward silence. The bag was bulging and the zipper strained to hold it closed. Serena looked around then back at her mom. She turned back to the door. And shook her head disapprovingly." She looked at her daughter. Nice couches. "What do you mean you were there?" She pulled Serena into the living room and sat her down. "Hi mom. She took Serena's bag from her and followed her in." "Serena! I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow!" She gave her a hug and moved out of the way so that Serena could come in. "I just flew in from Paris to be home with you and dad for the holidays. she forgot to take them off. you look so tired. She tore her scrutinizing gaze from Serena and looked at it shaking her head at her daughter's lack of packing skills. "Serena please tell me you haven't dropped out of school.
"What will people say? What will they think?" Serena rolled her eyes. "Darien?" Her mother looked puzzled." She proceeded to tell her about Darien and how they met. I've been there myself. "I haven't dropped out of school! I was there visiting Darien. she'd have to tell her now. I'm taking a shower. "So where are your rings then?" She scanned her hands for the engagement rings Darien supposedly got her. After finishing my exams of course.205 Chance Encounters You have dropped out!" Her mother looked horrified." She was careful to add the last bit. Vienna." "Serena are you on drugs?" She put her hands on either side of Serena's face and looked at her studying the colour of her face and eyes.was my boyfriend. a marriage proposal from a world famous concert pianist boyfriend. Tell me honestly what you were doing in Paris." "And the phone?" "Gave that back too. "I gave them back. "Darien le Conte. "You're sounding very delusional honey. "I know school is stressful. It's all true. Paris. This was going to be a fun vacation. but creating a fantasy world is not the way to go.." Serena shook her mom off. "Whatever mom. She finally finished with what happened before she took the flight. He is. where they've been. .. Have you been hallucinating?" She tried to take Serena's hands. "No mom I'm not on drugs! And I haven't been hallucinating!" Why did she have to make things so difficult? "I don't believe a word of what you just told me." Serena picked up her bag and went to her room. It's not possible." Too exhausted to fight Serena stood up.
. The news was showing New Years celebrations all over the world. come here for a sec. "I get the feeling that the women here aren't just celebrating the ringing in of the New Year.206 Chance Encounters The rest of her stay Serena either wandered around the house or went out with Dave. But Dave dragged her out with him and the guys for a few hours before she pleaded a headache and came home.. She tried to stay at home with her parents and watched TV. "Now that is one good looking man. The reporter was in Madrid and was covering Darien's concert. Just listen mom." He was jostled by more than one woman trying to get to Darien. He regained his footing and laughed. She put on her sweats and plunked herself down in front of the television." the rest of the report was lost on Serena. The pianist has just recently broken up with his girlfriend Serena Cole while she was visiting at his home in Paris. Dave was doing his last term at BCIT and was just back to visit his parents. "Here in Madrid the parties are huge! One of the largest parties is here at the concert of pianist Darien le Conte. Serena's mom looked at the television and gasped at the man standing in view of the camera. Pictures of her and Darien in Vienna and in Paris flashed on the screen." Serena looked at the TV and sighed. "I know. Christmas was terrible and New Years was even worse. It was nice to see him again. "Yes Serena?" "Take a look at this." She focussed her attention on the newscast. "They are going wild for Darien le Conte. him holding her while they took in the sights. She was flicking through the channels when something caught her eye. He certainly was." He paused and pointed at the heaving mass of women trying to get to Darien. they got one of her feeding him the croissant and they even showed the one with the circle around the ring." Her mom came into the room. ." She turned up the volume. Serena didn't feel like celebrating at all. It had been a while since they hung out last. "Hey mom. They had them all. They had a good laugh. Open mouthed she watched as they started showing a photo diary of their relationship. The ones of them kissing at the dinner in Vienna. walking hand in hand in the streets of Paris.
still busily signing autographs. taking in everything.207 Chance Encounters She nearly hit the television when the report cut to Didier at his desk in Paris. He looked even better than she remembered. Darien wearily signed some more autographs as he smiled half-heartedly at them." Serena took one look at him and knew he didn't have any fun doing it at all. She didn't see any of the laughter or the mischievous glint that use to be there. He looked incredibly worn out. He looked very happy to be on television and sat up looking self righteous. A translator's voice came on. she walked down here looking very angry and handed me the key to Monsieur le Conte's apartment. She tore her eyes away to look at the rest of him. She bet that they didn't have to pay him too much to get him on camera. The last questions caught Serena's attention and she focussed in on them. "Now that you're single again. His ebony hair was styled perfectly as usual and he was as poised as ever but she noticed something about his eyes. She was very." Next to Darien several women were trying to hand him their keys and underwear. "They spent all their time in the apartment. "Darien. I think it went very well. "But then on the last night. Darien answered politely. They looked dull. She stared at him from top to bottom. Women swirled around him thrusting paper and pens at him. He had a soft smile on his lips... The reporter continued to ask him questions about the concert. His tall frame was dressed in his usual black tux." He wiggled his eyebrows as though what he was insinuating wasn't obvious enough. What are you planning to do? Your fans obviously have some ideas." Then the camera cut to Darien in the midst of the throng that always followed his concerts. Serena stopped cursing Didier and stared at him. I had a lot of fun doing it. very rude. Serena shivered when she remembered what those lips were capable of doing." "That was a stunning concert Monsieur le Conte! How do you feel about it?" "Merci. Unbelievable! "That little." He smiled for the camera again. The reporter looked at Darien when he .
Darien looked at them and smiled sadly. He probably doesn't want to be with me anymore. He kept her rings with him. The news switched to what people were doing in Australia. I left him not the other way around. "Oh Serena. her eyes were welling up. Why didn't I just listen to him? Serena obsessed . but nothing worked.. He didn't bother taking any of them from the women." She sat down next to Serena and put her hand on her knee. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a necklace from his breast pocket. ---Serena left for Prince George a few days later.208 Chance Encounters didn't answer. "Why didn't you tell me before?" Serena stared blankly at the TV. Serena couldn't figure out what was going on with Darien. her mom had been trying her best to make amends for not believing Serena. "No comment.. She didn't think that she could handle another day with her mom fawning all over her." He thanked him and walked away from the camera. I'm sorry I didn't believe you. Darien couldn't look any more uninterested. She made her favourite meals and tried to cheer her up by taking her out shopping. He obviously still had feelings for her. "My. Her rings hung off of it and sparkled brilliantly in the light. Why else would he keep her rings with him? But why hadn't he tried to talk to her or contact her? He probably hates me that's why. Since she found out about Darien. "Will you be getting back together with your girlfriend then?" Darien looked at him." Serena put her hand to her mouth. What had she done? He looked even worse than she felt and now she couldn't get in contact with him.
She hung up her clothes and rearranged her shoes. "How am I going to contact him?" Serena unpacked slowly. She had to get her mind off of him. She always listened to it when she was feeling down. Then she started dusting needlessly just as an excuse to hover by the phone. Frustrated with their questions. Serena checked her messages hoping that he might have called. Serena tried to concentrate on sorting out her books and papers for her new classes but she couldn't get the sad look on Darien's face out of her mind. Alone she started to browse through the titles. industrial dance music. "Argh! Stop being so pathetic!" Feeling completely helpless she headed to the university bookstore to buy her books for the semester. Apparently quite a few people stayed home on new years and saw the report from Madrid. Frustrated. Serena turned and filed her CD's in alphabetical order then made sure all of her hangers were facing the same direction. She ran into a few people she knew and stopped and talked about the holidays. It was there. She paid for them and quickly walked back home.209 Chance Encounters over it the entire trip back to Prince George. For an extremely short time she had such happiness in her life and in the blink of an eye it was gone. It was good to be back at school. she excused herself and tired to pick out her books as quickly as she could before anyone else could approach her again. Still no call. Who ever called had an unlisted number. "Stop being such a baby!" She berated herself then got up and turned on the stereo and put in her Econoline Crush CD. She opened the window of her room and breathed in the fresh air. She checked the phone for a dial tone. Serena sat back down on the floor and listened to the loud. She was the first one back. She smiled . Serena arrived back at Rez later that afternoon. but there was nothing from him. picking up the ones that she needed. As Serena filled her binders with paper and labelled them for each class. She star 69'd her phone checking to see who called last. her mind started to wander. she sat on her bed. No one called. Everyone knew about her and Darien.
" Lita grabbed her by the arm and pulled her over to the bed and sat her down. "So then why are you in such a horrible mood?" Lita stood in her doorway. "And you're saying that you're alright." Serena dropped her binder and all the paper spilled out over the floor. "Don't make me hurt you. The instant attraction was undeniable.!" she bent down and started picking them up." They both knew that Serena could beat her any day. Then about how as time wore on they grew even closer. She felt nothing. . what happened?" "Nothing. She shook the thought from her head and reached over with her right hand to fidget with her ring. Very close indeed." Serena cracked a little smile. "Oh my god! Classes haven't even started yet and you already have your angry music on?" Serena turned around and saw Lita carrying her bags. "I'm not. She turned back to concentrate on her binders. "Spill it. She would have started crying again right there but a voice stopped any flow of tears. Tell me or I'll have to beat it out of you." Lita gave Serena a puzzled look. "Son of a." "It's nothing.. "Hey Lita. "Alright. She definitely didn't look happy. "Argh!" Serena threw her book against the wall and watched it explode in a flurry of paper. Serena shivered thinking about the hotel room in Vienna and the first time they were together and that one mad week they spent there." Serena stared out the window and sighed. How was your vacation?" "Fine." The pages slipped from her hand and spilled back onto the floor.. "Come on Serena. Serena looked at her bare finger and remembered it was gone. "Life stinks doesn't it?" "You got it!" She punched her in the shoulder.210 Chance Encounters sadly thinking about the first time they saw each other.
"What happened?" "We broke up. They knew she didn't like to cry in front of anyone. You're starting to resemble the spunky old Serena that I remember. "You couldn't have." Her voice cracked. You were perfect together!" "Well we did. . The girls gave her a hug and left. The truth was she felt like her guts had been ripped out with a spoon coated in lemon juice. "Notice anything?" Lita was puzzled. So what's going on?" It had to be something about Darien. Serena held up her hand and wiggled her fingers. "I gotta clean up you guys. They looked out to see Mina running up to the room.211 Chance Encounters "That's a bit better. "You hurt your hand?" "Where's you ring?" The squeal came from the door. Lita knew it. "No!" Their eyes were huge." It was as simple as that." She turned back to the mess in her room. Serena shrugged her shoulders trying to make it seem like no big deal. It's over.
212 - . until one night she got a call while she was reading. She was doing quite well too. They knew that when she was ready to talk she would come to them. And he obviously didn't want to talk to her any more. for both of them. go for a run. "Hello?" Her heart pounded while she waited for an answer. "Hello?" Again nothing.CHAPTER c 4 The next few weeks went by quickly. Hands shaking. It had to be Darien. Forgive me! Please! Say something!" She heard the hollow click of the other person hanging up. "Darien! Is that you? Please say something. No one could believe that they broke up but they kept their questions to themselves. The girls even started calling them the 'Depressed Duo'. Serena told them what had happened with her and Darien when they first got back." Tears she managed to stifle for so long now started to flow. deflating like a punctured tire. . It was a complete disaster. The twins that they went out with turned out to be total losers and both girls ended up finishing off an entire tub of ice cream in their sweats on front of the TV. I should have trusted you. The girls decided to try everything they could to cheer Serena up. Every time she thought about him she would immediately start doing something else. if it's you say something! I'm sorry I left! I should have given you a chance to explain. "Please Darien. Serena dropped the phone onto her desk. Raye even got her to double date with her one night. Everyone was in total shock over her news. Raye still hadn't gotten over her ex yet and Serena doubted if she would ever get over Darien. It was nice to have someone to mope with though. Serena made a major effort to keep it bottled up. research. Could it be Darien? She definitely hoped that it was. Slowly. Serena quickly picked up. anything. read. It took a moment for her to fully comprehend the realization.
Seiya and Lita were waiting in the living room for them to return. You'll see him again soon. "Oh Sere. I guess she still hasn't heard from Darien yet. She wasn't smiling. studied and hung out like they always did." Mina went back to bed while Serena sat on the couch with them." He took her shuddering body and held her against him wanting to absorb some of the hurt. He'd have to do something about this soon if not for her sanity then to ease his need for retribution. Serena and Mina came back from the latest. He'd learned earlier that if he so much as mentioned his name. They went to their classes. Serena would scream and shout but they would just hang up. "We got you two good!" They looked at Serena. . Serena would shut off and walk away. Seiya and Lita laughed.213 Chance Encounters Serena slumped to her desk and cried. He was the only one she trusted enough to cry to. "Very funny you guys. And they were all back to playing tricks on each other again. You're gonna get it. but there was nothing he could do. They laughed at them when they walked through the door. Seiya felt completely and utterly helpless. She really didn't deserve it. Seiya put his arm around her shoulder. Every few nights after that she would get a call with no on the other end. He couldn't stand seeing her in such a state. Because he couldn't think of anything else effectual to say he smoothed her hair with one hand while the other clenched into a fist. What was that guy playing at? The latest episode had Serena rushing in barely able to talk. Things were as normal as they could be for everyone else. For the time being he would have to settle on comforting her the best he could. Poor Serena." He hated seeing her so miserable. Seiya got angrier and angrier each time she came to him. and in hysterics she would run across the hall to talk to Seiya. "Cheer up. He knew as soon as he saw her that he had called again.
He shrugged. "No. Just follow her around and report what she did to the boss. She had a nagging suspicion of what had caused her dizziness episode. Serena left the store and headed back to her car." Serena got up and went to her room. She looked through her drawers for some Advil. Still. Serena walked down to the car and drove to the mall. It was more like numbness. He . She wandered around the mall for a while and picked up some tablets. That usually helped cheer herself up. "I'm just not feeling too fantastic. ---A man in a dark jacket followed Serena through the mall. It was as simple as that. I didn't. At the same time she tried to analyze the mood that had taken over her during the time that she had been apart from Darien. Serena was beginning to loose hope by this point. It wasn't exactly depression. He had been following this stupid girl for months now and he was getting sick of it. Manuel Torres' face was pock marked and ruddy in colour. it was quick cash. She was trying on clothes when a wave of dizziness hit her. But by then her headache diminished a little so she decided to do some shopping. Serena stumbled in the change room." Serena emerged and gave her back the clothes. No one had any. It had been almost two months now and she hadn't heard a word from him. Her head was pounding. Finding none she slammed her drawers shut and asked the girls and the guys for some. Several times she stopped walking and looked like she was trying to steady herself. He noted Serena didn't look too well. "Thanks. She felt cold and empty." Walking slowly." "Did you say something miss?" A saleslady stood outside the door. "Something's not right.214 Chance Encounters She shrugged. He followed as she wandered aimlessly through the mall for some time before she headed to a store she went into often. He sat outside and waited. He didn't have to wait long before she came out again looking worse than when she went in. I think I'm coming down with a bug. She leaned on the wall steadying herself.
"The sickness goes after a couple of months. ---"Congratulations Ms. The doctor looked at her and smiled recognizing the look of barely controlled nausea." He handed her a blurry black and white ultrasound image. His eyebrows snapped together. I'd say you're about six weeks pregnant. She definitely wanted to do everything right. A baby. though he thought it was hardly necessary. A warm feeling came over her as she looked adoringly at the blob. Cole. He smiled sympathetically and started going through all the do's and don'ts of pregnancy. she certainly . I just don't think I can celebrate at the moment. That blurry little blob was her and Darien's baby. Serena wished she had a pen and paper so she could take notes. Serena smiled weakly. Though.215 Chance Encounters sat and watched as she slowly walked past him." As she shifted a little her stomach started to roll. Serena took them gratefully. She looked very ill. He handed her some books and leaflets to look over. At least she was right about something. She wouldn't have noticed him if he sat right behind her and followed beeping his horn and flashing his lights. Serena nodded slowly. "You are happy aren't you?" She was going to have Darien's baby! "Yes I'm very happy. He sat two cars behind her in traffic. Truth was she didn't even know how she was going to get word to him let alone have him by her side. Taking the photo from him she stared at it a moment. "Will the father be around?" He had seen some girls struggle terribly on their own." Serena nodded absently still staring at the picture.
"Alright. he would be so happy! "Anyways I have to get going. She smiled happily as she recounted the story. Gently she put her hand on her stomach. A little boy that looked like Darien. She shook her head." She looked at her watch and she had class in fifteen minutes. and he's incredibly busy. He's wonderful. Do you have any questions?" Serena's mind was on overdrive trying to think of a way to tell Darien. Monsieur le Conte. I'll call and tell him tonight." "How on earth did you meet a concert pianist in Prince George?" He laughed. "Yes. He's in Europe right now." Serena explained a little about how she and Darien met. "He's a concert pianist.216 Chance Encounters hoped so. he is. I went to one of his concerts while he was here. "I can't think of any right now." The doctor gave her a questioning look. "Why? Don't you talk to him?" "Oh it's nothing like that. She was sure that it would be a little boy." "Yes. Oh my god! I'm going to have Darien's baby! She smiled to herself and drove off." "Oh? What does he do?" She caught his interest." He wrote down a few notes and arranged for her next visit. ---- . "See you in a couple weeks doctor. "Actually he found me." Serena walked out to her car and sat in it. He helped her up and walked her to the door. Visions of a smiling baby danced through her mind. "Ah. A baby." Serena smiled even more. I hope I can reach him.
flicking aimlessly through them. the stupid girl. so she had to go. he was a nervous wreck. Darien listened enthralled to every word he said. He picked up the phone and started dialling. From the glowing smile on her face he knew he had guessed right. Jadeite reported to him three times a week." ---Darien stared at the prints that he had bought for Serena the day they spent at the Louvre and wondered how she was doing. He remembered when he got that whore pregnant some years ago. Forster and had a long line of letters following it. Staying away from her was the hardest thing he had ever had to do. Darien had decided to send someone to keep an eye on her after she left. Serena came out a little while later. She didn't look ill any more..217 Chance Encounters The man scratched his scarred face and put out his cigarette. She was pregnant. He hoped that she had seen the news broadcast from .. He sat in his car some distance away from the clinic. Only his reports from Jadeite kept him going. Darien wandered over to the couch and sat down and listened to the sound echo through the room. He was sure she did and he couldn't bear the thought. the head of his security and one of his oldest friends. Unfortunately for her he didn't want the headache of kids. He shook his head. "I've got some news. He took another drag of his cigarette. The boss would not be pleased. He noticed that she was so happy that she didn't even notice she dropped some things out of her bag while she was fidgeting with it. He wanted to tell her. He remembered they way she looked when he wrapped his hands around her neck and squeezed. I bet the bitch is pregnant. to explain what was going on but to do so would endanger her and that scared him more than anything else. He turned on the TV and surfed through the channels. Darien's biggest worry was that she hated him. He smiled. It read Dr. He pulled out his binoculars and read the sign on the door. sick and dizzy. If he couldn't do it himself he would find someone who could. So he sent Jadeite Marsac. He knew how he was doing. He followed her out of the parking lot. She came to him looking the exact same way. The apartment was so empty without her. He missed her so much.
He wanted to tell his friend what was going on but he heard the voice again telling him not to tell anyone. "But you two are so in love!" Nephlite was stunned at the news. Nephlite looked at his friend and put his arm around his shoulder. he let it drop back onto his chest. Stuck in his morose mood he got up and started playing a slow. Sighing. Darien pulled the necklace out from under his shirt and looked at the ring there. What's the use?" Nephlite slapped him on the back. Nephlite and Fabienne visited him daily trying to cheer him up but nothing helped. "She went to the doctor's today after she . Darien reached over and picked it up. "Mon ami. You'll see. and plays. hoped that she saw that he had her rings with him always." He left a little while later. these things have a way of working out for the best." He let the ring spin and catch the light. "Allô?" "Darien.218 Chance Encounters Madrid." It was Jadeite. Darien knew that she would be losing hope since she hadn't heard from him in such a long time. "What happened? Why haven't you gone to her yet?" Darien looked at him miserably. They were absolutely shocked when they heard that she left him. It was highly unlikely that she did. "I miss you so much." Darien gave him a look that told him to leave it alone. sombre piece on the piano. The phone rang. Serena. None of it worked. concerts." Jadeite told him about how Serena was still pretty depressed about the whole situation and how she wasn't feeling well now. He let the melody express the feelings of hopelessness for him. "She doesn't want me anymore. Was she missing him as much as he missed her? He doubted it. "J'ai beaucoup des nouvelles. They tried taking him out to clubs. anything to get his mind off of Serena. but he clung on to the hope like a life line. "Don't be stupid. He had given the other one to Jadeite in case he ever talked to Serena he could give it to her. He would react just the same way. He wondered what she was doing at that moment.
Serena wanted to keep it her little secret for the time being. He had to find a way to be with her." "Bye Darien. . what the hell is going on? First of all is she alright?" Darien was getting impatient." "Is there something wrong?" "She hasn't been feeling well. If something was wrong with Serena he wanted to know about it. Relieved.219 Chance Encounters went shopping. "Darien?" "Oui." He was afraid to admit that he had paid more attention to the man than to Serena. At least she was ok. That's not the news though. I'll call again if there is anything new to report." "I will. "I think that it's time that you contact her and tell her what's going on. ---The next morning Serena went to the bookstore to buy yet another required book for one of her courses." "Ça va. But his answer seemed to placate Darien a little." "Jadeite. His thoughts went back to what Jadeite was saying. We can't endanger her just so that I can be happy. Then pull back but still keep an eye on her." He hung up. She hadn't told anyone about the baby yet. She decided to continue with this semester and then see how things went from there." Darien frowned. She has enough to worry about without me adding to her worries. Tell her everything. I'm still here. "She seems alright. Bye Jadeite. Darien got up and lay back on the couch. Darien sat back down on the couch. I followed her down and I noticed that there is someone following her.
Everyone did notice a change in her mood though. Smiling to herself she browsed through the store she giggled at the little baby clothes with UNBC embroidered on them. She definitely had to get them for the baby when he was old enough. She ran her fingers over them and continued through the store. Serena spent the night thinking about how she was going to manage raising a baby on her own. She really couldn't think of any way of contacting Darien other than going to the reporters and telling them. She definitely didn't want to do that. And her mother! Would she have a fit when she hears! Serena rolled her eyes at the thought. So Serena settled on the fact that she was going to do it on her own. It was going to be rough. Still, she couldn't be more excited. She put her hand on her stomach and grinned. At least she had a tiny part of Darien with her. And that was something she definitely didn't want to give up. "Psst." Serena whipped her hand off of her stomach and looked around. Nothing. She shook her head thinking that she was imagining things and went back to browsing through the pens. "Psst." There it was again. Serena looked behind her. There was a figure clad in dark clothing motioning for her to move toward him. He was tall and blonde and quite handsome. She also noted that she hadn't seen him around the university before. Serena looked at him for a bit then cautiously advanced toward him. If he was a reporter looking for a new angle he had another thing coming. "Who are you?" She was careful to stay out of his reach. Was he a reporter? Serena looked around quickly but saw no cameras or anything. She returned her attention to the man before her. "M'amselle Cole. I'm so glad I found you. I am Jadeite Marsac. Darien sent me to tell you what has been going on." He looked around nervously. "Is there somewhere we can talk privately? It is not safe."
Serena looked at him again. "How do I know I can trust you?" He nodded. She wasn't a fool. He searched in his coat pockets and pulled something out. He held out his hand. In it was one of her rings. One glance at her ring and she knew he was legitimate. Serena nodded. "Follow me." She led him out of the bookstore and to the women's changing room at the gym in the next building. She stuck her head in and seeing no one in there, she waved him in. "So tell me what this is all about." Jadeite faced her. "Darien has been going crazy trying to think of a way to contact you. You see, that night you left he got a strange phone call." He told her about the call and how it freaked out Darien so much that he had to let her go so that she wouldn't get hurt. Serena listened to his every word. Now she understood why he was acting so strange. He was afraid for her life. Serena felt so guilty. She should have waited and listened. He must be going through hell. She looked back at Jadeite. "Isn't this still risky though?" Serena looked around. "Oui, but he insisted that I come. He needs to know that you understand what is going on. He also needs to know how you feel about him." Serena held her hand out. "Give me the ring." He gave it to her. Serena put in on. "Tell him I'm wearing his ring again." Jadeite nodded. "I will tell him. He also told me to keep an eye on you. I will always be close by." He turned and walked out. Serena followed. "Jadeite wait." She wanted to know how Darien was doing and to tell him the news. She walked out the door. There was no trace of him. ---A tall dark haired man wove his way through the crowds of people on the street and wandered into a little café in Paris and reported his finding. He approached a figure who sat at the back of a smoky café.
"Le Conte sent someone to contact the girl." He handed over pictures of Serena and Jadeite talking in the university bookstore. A glove covered hand picked them up and looked at them then dropped them back on to the table. "So Darien thinks that he can trick me, eh Torres? He'll pay for that." ---Darien was practicing at the piano when he heard the phone ring. He dove to the phone as it rung again. Maybe Jadeite had some more news. After all it had been a day. Darien picked it up. "Allô?" "That was a silly thing you did sending that man to her. She will have to pay for your stupidity." The phone clicked and went dead. Darien stood gripping the phone. "Oh my god, Serena!" ---Serena drove up the hill toward the university returning from a shopping trip. She noticed a dark car following her. She figured it was Jadeite so she didn't pay much attention. She turned on the radio and listened to the loud pulsating music and didn't notice the car come right up beside her until it rammed her, hard. Serena looked at it as she fought the right the car again. Panicking she accelerated trying to get away. Where was Jadeite? The car hit her again. She swerved dangerously close to the edge of the road. Fender hit guardrail sending sparks shooting off the side of the car. Serena looked down the deep gorge. She swung her car at the other one in an attempt to get back on the road. She heard the engine of the other car roar as it swung into her again. Serena stomped on the brake and the car veered in front of her. They quickly regained control and caught up with her again. This time they rammed into her and didn't pull back forcing her to the side of the road. Serena tried to steer against them but it was hopeless on the icy road against the more powerful car. Serena screamed as she plummeted off the side and everything went black. ----
Darien was prowling around the apartment trying to think of a way to get to Serena. What had he done? His own weakness was going to hurt her. "Idiot!" He had started packing when the phone rang again. He answered, shouting into the phone. "Who are you? Why are you doing this to us?" "Darien, it's Jadeite." His voice was quiet. "Oh, Jadeite it's you. Is everything alright?" Darien's heart stopped when he didn't answer right away. "Jadeite? What's going on?" Jadeite decided to come out and say it. "It's Serena she's in the hospital." "What?" Darien got up and took the phone with him to the bedroom. "What happened? Is she alright?" He told Darien what happened. "You'd better come over." Darien pinned the phone between his shoulder and chin, "Why didn't you do anything?" He crammed clothes into a bag, shut it and walked to the front door. "Forget it! It's too late now. Keep an eye on her. Don't let anyone in. If her condition changes call me. I'll be there in the morning." Darien put on his coat and walked out the door. He got into a cab and pulled out his phone. He called his pilot and told him to meet him at the airport then he called Nephlite and told him to hold down the fort while he was gone. An hour later he was in the air. He paced back and forth on the plane. Please god let her be alright. I don't think I can go on knowing that I've hurt her. He arrived in the early hours of the morning. He got in the first cab he found and went straight to the hospital. Jadeite was waiting for him at the nurses' station. "Darien." Jadeite looked tired. He got up and put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "They won't let anyone see her, mon ami." Darien shook his head stubbornly and walked up to the desk, lightly pushing Jadeite aside. "Which room is Serena Cole in?"
The nurse looked at him and shook her head. "I'm sorry Mr..." "le Conte!" Darien's voice echoed down the silent halls. Her eyes widened, she recognised the name. She looked at him. The tired man with an unshaven face and wrinkled clothes were a far cry from the debonair tux wearing man in the photos she had seen. Her brow wrinkled. Why in the world would Darien le Conte want to see her? "I need to see her!" "I'm sorry sir but only family is allowed in." "I'm her fiancé!" He was growing more agitated by the second. He exhaled and controlled his voice. "Please, I need to be with her." Eyes wide, the nurse nodded. "Follow me." She led him to Serena's room. Darien stopped when he saw her. She looked tiny in the bed. Her face was all banged up and the tubes going in and out of her didn't help improve what he saw. "Serena." He walked to her side and knelt next to her bed. Darien held her limp hand in his and kissed it. "Mr. le Conte she's a very lucky woman. That was a nasty accident she's lucky to have come out of it with such minimal injuries...." Darien wasn't listening to her. He was too busy kicking himself. All he could do was stare at Serena's pale face. Idiot! He should have been here for her. He shouldn't have been so stupid. The nurse put a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Mr. le Conte? I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but she lost her baby." Darien's eyes widened with shock. "Baby?" He shook his head. "You must be mistaken. I would have known." Would he though? He looked back at her pale face and thought about it. They hadn't spoken in over a month. Was it possible? They had been getting lax with the precautions. He ran a shaky hand through his hair. Oh my god!
It made sense to him now.terrible accident." She patted his arm." He put his cheek on her stomach and wept. Darien! Darien was here! before anything else. They felt as though they were being held down. I don't think so. the headaches and nausea that Jadeite told him about. She struggled for what seemed like an eternity. She was conscious of the activity going on around her. He felt even worse now the realization hit him. ---Serena drifted in and out of consciousness.. Serena tried to open her eyes.lost her baby-" No! Serena wanted to scream. she was six weeks pregnant according to her records. but could only lay there seemingly asleep.. "Yes. how she wasn't feeling well." She had been carrying his child. He was talking to her. I'm so sorry. but couldn't get them to open. Serena could feel his hands around hers. Serena slipped back into the darkness again. She floated up out of the dark. . Six weeks. They had made a baby while she was with him in Paris! And now it was gone. it helped alleviate some of the pain. "Serena.225 Chance Encounters "No.. One time she woke up and she could hear several people in the room with her. No! He stood up and leaned over Serena. Please come back to me." She checked the chart again. "I'm very sorry. The whispered voices were talking about her. Darien closed his eyes as the wave of grief engulfed the guilt. "Poor girl. He kissed her gently. She wanted to cry. I need you. She tried to move her arms and legs but when she did she could only feel immense pain. This time she could hear another voice. She could hear them drawing the curtains and talking to her about how lucky she was. She liked to listen to what was going on around her. She could only hear bits of what they were saying but what she heard was enough. she could feel his prescence. Sometimes she would hear the nurses checking in on her.. Each time she surfaced from the darkness she was aware of the pain.
Serena looked at them all in awe. Serena tried to move her hands. "I don't feel very ok. Excited by her progress she pushed herself harder. "Darien. Her eyes opened and slowly focused. . He told her he loved her. but I'm sure I'll get better. but could only manage to move her finger a little. She needed him to comfort her. She then looked down and saw that even in his sleep he still managed to keep hold of her hand. it wasn't your fault. Determined not to loose the battle this time. I shouldn't have tried to contact you. chèrie." He smiled tenderly at her and leaned down laying his cheek on her stomach. Serena fought to open her eyes." He sat on the side of the bed. Serena couldn't hear anything. "I'm so glad you are ok." Darien leaned down and kissed her gently. Darien also talked about how he should have been there for her. "You need to rest.226 Chance Encounters Serena could feel his lips and warm breath near her ear as he whispered. Serena wanted to comfort him." "Darien. "Serena." "Of course." He looked extremely tired." Darien helped her lay back down. that he needed her to come back to him. There were flowers all over the place too. Instead she lost consciousness again. How it was all his fault for not being stronger that she got hurt. Next to her bed she saw Darien slumped in a chair asleep." He placed a hand on her cheek. I missed you so much. His hair was tousled and stuck up in all directions and his clothes were wrinkled. "Serena. He looked over at her and leapt to her side when he saw that she was awake. The slight movement had Darien jerking awake. "I'm so sorry I was such an idiot Serena. She wanted to tell him that it wasn't his fault." His eyes were red but she could see the love in them. He never looked better to her." Serena grimaced as she tried to sit up. When she came to again. I'm glad you did. please. "You came. She tried to open her eyes. Little by little she started to see slivers of light.
227 Chance Encounters "Serena.. "Are you hungry? You must be thirsty.right?" She opened her eyes and looked at him. She struggled to bring it to her mouth. dear? You're very lucky you know. Cole! You're awake.. Confused Serena looked back toward the door. "That our child is gone? Yes. "Hello Mr. still chattering away. "I swear to you Serena. How are you feeling. She took a shuddering breath and moved her hand to her stomach." They stared blankly at the wall on the opposite side of the room for a while." she closed her eyes. I would have come immediately. That crazy nurse. Darien leaned down and helped hold it to her mouth so that she could drink from it. . "I just found out. I will find who ever did this and make them pay." She fluffed Serena's pillows. Someone was singing as they walked into the room. that was a very nasty accident. Serena watched amused when she saw Darien scramble as fast as he could to the other side of her bed. She whispered to him. She could see the branches and trees flying past her window. He hasn't moved from the moment he arrived. feeling hollow with sadness. How was she going to tell him that their baby was gone? "You know. "Darien what are you doing?" "It's her. why didn't you tell me that our baby was growing inside you?" He caressed her lightly.." I could have protected you both. "Isn't he a sweetheart? You're very lucky to have a man like him. They snapped out of it and both turned toward the door when they heard it swing open. "You could have told Jadeite.. She's driving me nuts!" He tried to make himself as small as possible next to the bed. Just a day before. "Ms. A large woman swept in singing to herself." She poured a glass of water and handed it to Serena. Le Conte! How are you this morning?" She looked at the bed. I don't think that he's eaten anything either. The nurse was checking her pulse." His eyes glittered angrily. She remembered the conversation she heard.
"Yes." She put her hand on his." "Promise?" "Oui." Satisfied." She put her hands on her hips and looked at him. Sighing. "She's had me sign about thirty autographs. "Oh can you sign another autograph for me? My sister's best friend's cousin would just die if she heard that I met you in person!" Without waiting for an answer. but if you don't eat that'll worry me." "They recognised you?" . is she right? Have you eaten?" She looked at him as sternly as she could. I'm more worried about you right now." She rushed out of the room grinning from ear to ear. shaking her head. "Please. Serena sat back and watched as she practically leapt for joy. he'll probably listen to you." He sighed again and sat down next to her. "So has that nurse been like that the whole time?" The brightly coloured flowers caught Serena's eye. "I'll be right back with the doctor. "How did you get in?" "I told them who I was and they let me in.Darien shook his head dismissing her questions. she handed him a piece of paper and a pen. I promise." He pointed at the door. "Darien. They won't let them in though. "Your friends have been by. Darien signed the paper." "I will later when you are asleep." "I know you worry. "Serena. Serena relaxed a bit." He saw her looking at the flowers. And handed it back to her. Serena noticed for the first time that there were uniformed guards standing there. She never stops talking either.228 Chance Encounters You should tell him to get something to eat.
"Poor baby. Baby. The one next to it caught her eye as well." Serena looked at the beautiful arrangement." He smiled at her.229 Chance Encounters "Yes.she's still alive. "Darien?" She looked at him. they rushed right over when they heard. He must have been so exhausted.." She stopped." He held her to him as she sobbed. Darien." "I told you. Manuel stared at the figure sitting in the chair against the wall." She held out her hand to show him the ring. trying not to catch any tubes. While he struggled to keep his own at bay. He looked at her when she stopped talking and saw the tears streaming down her face. Instantly. "Those are from them. "Sh. "Oh chèrie. Le Conte is with her right now. "Are from my parents. "I called your parents they should be here today sometime." "I see. "I still am aren't I?" "Yes. tears filled her eyes. yawning. "Yes. "They're so sweet.. "And those?" She pointed to them. Serena ran his hair through her fingers." He looked at her. He hated reporting bad news. He choked a little as he tried to swallow. She gasped when she saw it wasn't there any more. We have plenty of time to have another. Darien gathered her up in his arms and rocked her.." Serena nodded and smiled." He smiled a little and leaned back." ." "They're beautiful! Are they in town?" Darien nodded.. it will be ok. they love you." He pointed at a large bouquet. but they only let me in when I told them that I was your fiancé. ---Through the smoke. "They took all your jewellery off and are holding in a safe for you.
It didn't go too far though because while Serena was in Paris. The two couples finally met and they exchanged hugs and pleasantries. The police came and questioned Darien and Serena about what was going on. She was recovering miraculously. Jeff was the only other person that had reason enough to run her off the road but he couldn't have been in Paris to call Darien and actually see them in the apartment. The doctors said that she could go back home in a few days. though the circumstances could have been better." Manuel fell over and his head lay on the table. Fabienne even Didier. A bullet had gone straight through his heart. Darien's parents were the same. No one else had the resources or the motive to go after them with such a vengeance. They questioned almost everyone they knew. Darien's crew. non? . They had to let her go because she had a concrete alibi. The police contacted Paris and they brought her in for questioning. They were delighted to finally meet Darien.230 Chance Encounters "I will do better next time I swear." He looked up and saw a smile in the shadows. Serena's parents swept in and out almost hourly. Jadeite. Everyone was clean. Nephlite. "I'll do it myself. Sabine was in Italy doing a photo shoot. "Don't worry yourself. They answered as best they could. police and parents. it seems that they like each other. coming in with gifts and food for Serena and their son. They told them that they suspected that Sabine was behind the whole thing. It had to be her. Jeff. Serena and Darien smiled. Darien and Serena weren't convinced of Sabine's innocence." ---The next few days were a frenzy of doctors. Serena's friends. They even went out for lunch together. "Chèrie. They seemed to get on well enough. He breathed a bit easier.
Serena drove off the icy road when her car hit a patch of black ice." She opened her mouth to refuse. It helped a bit but the counsellor assured them that it would ebb over time though the pain would never totally disappear.231 Chance Encounters Isn't that great?" "Yeah. you can't stay here on your own. They didn't tell them about the baby either." "But what about your career?" . come back with me. you're going?" He shook his head. I'm not leaving you again. we'll go to the countryside where you can regain your strength. not without you. After the latest meeting Darien helped Serena back to her room. until we find out who has been doing this." Darien shuddered at the thought. "Darien. "What do you suggest Darien?" "We can drop out of sight for a while. Who knows what would happen if he left her again. It felt so good to be with him again. "No. She couldn't just ignore it anymore. She hadn't thought about him leaving her again. She and Darien decided not to tell them about the attempt to kill Serena. He had decided earlier that he was going to stay with her no matter what." She cuddled up to Darien." Serena gave him a questioning look. "Serena. "Serena. Someone was serious about getting her." Serena knew that this was true. In the evenings she and Darien joined some other couples who lost their babies and they talked things through. Whoever did this will come back and try again. "Chèrie. As far as they knew. They walked slowly down the quiet hospital corridor. Darien put a finger over her lips. They hated lying to them but Serena didn't think that she and Darien could handle their grief on top of her own.
Serena looked at him and shook her head smiling. He started dialling. away from the city and crowds and photographers." "I love you too." Serena thought about it. She deserved to have a quiet life with no one hassling her or . They gave up after a couple nights." He settled in his chair next to her bed. "That sounds wonderful Darien. white atmosphere. Darien watched her a while before he got up and wandered out to the front of the hospital. "We can go to my place in Vancouver. I think you'll need all your energy when you see your friends again. The nurses had been trying to get him to go to a hotel at night but he refused." "Yes of course we can do it. he stood up so it was easier for her. Darien was staying by her side whether they liked it or not. He smiled a little.232 Chance Encounters "I think I deserve some time off. chèrie. We can disappear and live like regular people for a while. It sounded nice. Not that she wasn't grateful for what the nurses were doing for her. He couldn't wait to have a normal life with Serena. "I love you. There was no moving him. He seemed quite happy just sleeping the chair. Darien opened the door Serena walked in." He kissed her. Serena. Can we do it though? And where will we go?" She looked thoughtful. Darien helped her into bed. No photographers. But first he had to arrange it so that he could disappear for a while. Serena couldn't wait. "What are you thinking chèrie?" He looked at her curiously. "Now get some sleep we have a big day tomorrow." They arrived at her room. But I think we will have to find a better place than in the city. After Serena fell asleep. but she was getting sick of the disinfected." She went to lean and kiss him. "Now get some sleep. just her and Darien living in a secluded home. He was going to find the most secretive place for them. "I will get it arranged tonight. "You're insane Darien. no crowds." He looked at her affectionately." They were scheduled to be discharged tomorrow morning.
Lita. Mina. "Oh my god! Are you alright?" Serena nodded. Looking serious. He quickly sped off and headed for the university. They were immediately swamped by photographers and reporters shouting questions. They ran in." Lame! Serena hated having to lie to her friends but she didn't want to worry them anymore. "What happened? All we know is you went off the road the nurses wouldn't let us visit you or anything! Then cops show up and question us about some threats? What the hell is going on?" "It was just a stupid misunderstanding." She still felt uncomfortable when she was fussed over." "That's alright. Apparently they knew Serena was a student and that she lived here. "Yeah." . Darien helped Serena walk out the front doors. The next morning they got everything together and thanked everyone for their help. Malachite. Serena quickly swiped her card and punched in her code. Darien covered Serena's face and they rushed to the security doors. Darien helped Serena cover her face and quickly ushered her to the car he had waiting. "I bet it was that crazy nurse who told everyone. Again. Someone had told the press that Darien was there. Thanks for the flowers guys. At the suite Serena opened the door to find everyone there." Jadeite was driving. "Serena! Darien!" Lita. "I'm doing better now though. pulled her over to the couch. Jadeite grabbed the bags from Darien as he helped Serena up the stairs as fast as she could go. Darien pushed it shut behind them once they were through. Darien waved at everyone then nodded at Jadeite who went to Serena's room and checked it over making sure no one tampered with anything. Raye. I'm ok now. It was the only thing we could do. The Rez entrance was completely surrounded by reporters. Seiya and Andrew rushed over and hugged her gently one by one. Everyone stared at Jadeite as he walked down the hall.233 Chance Encounters scrambling to get an embarrassing photo.
head of my security. "This happens wherever you go?" They nodded again. "And we have Jadeite looking after us. "It's only for a . They came back wide eyed. He looked at Jadeite. Serena noticed that Raye smiled very interestedly at him." He looked at her. Clearly admiring his looks. "Oh my. he started fiddling with his cell phone while they talked to him." Serena. "Pack?" Serena smiled weakly. "I've decided to withdraw from classes and move away for a while. Shyly. Mina smiled.234 Chance Encounters They watched as Jadeite returned and reported that nothing was touched. Jadeite smiled at everyone. "Security?" Serena nodded." Darien gave Serena a hug reminding her it was she who taught him how to do that. "And who is this?" Raye got up and stood beside him eyeing him from head to toe and nodding appreciatively. "Go to the boys' room and look out the window. maybe she's gotten over her ex? The rest of the girls didn't seem immune to him either." She looked at everyone's shocked faces. Darien and Jadeite went to her room The group looked at them puzzled." He patted him on the back. "This is Jadeite Marsac. Darien chuckled softly at his friend's bewildered look. Darien and Jadeite waited while they did. How do you handle it?" "We've learned to ignore them. "Shall we get packed then?" She nodded. "Are those reporters?" The three of them nodded. Everyone looked at Serena.
"You asshole! You have a lot of nerve showing up here after what you did to her!" Darien stared at him but held him tight to the door. She turned to open the door when she heard a knock. That's all that matters." They nodded and left." They barely looked at her while they quickly stuffed her things into boxes. "Darien! Jadeite! Leave him alone. "Yeah as long as you get better." "Oh and when you leave for classes here's a little tip. Just until I recover fully. I told him about it!" Seiya struggled against them glaring at Darien." "We can come and visit right?" "Of course." "Good." She paused and looked at them. Don't let them know that you know me. Then I'll be back. "Serena what is this all about? Are you moving because of that note?" Darien and Jadeite nearly jumped down his throat when he said that. They'll leave you alone then. Serena went to her room to find that it was almost completely packed.235 Chance Encounters little while. "You're almost done already?" "Yup. "You understand right?" Slowly one by one they nodded. Seiya stood on the other side looking incredibly pissed off. Serena hugged them all." No one looked too happy about the news. "What are you talking about?" . "You guys are the best. "How do you know about the note?" They pinned him against the door.
"Seiya." She didn't want him getting hurt too. "Yeah I'm ok just getting a little dizzy." Seiya stared at them. "Any idea who?" They shook their heads." She pushed him out the door. you're in trouble. Seiya looked at Serena and then at Darien's pale face." Serena gave Seiya a pleading look. please just go and forget about everything. "I can show you where he is. We're not going after Jeff. he had someone to sort out. Everyone looked dead serious. "Shit! So you going off the road wasn't an accident?" He looked even more pissed off now. He was so stubborn! "Someone is trying to kill me. What's going on?" He looked at Darien and Jadeite challengingly. are you alright?" She looked so pale. "I bet it was that loser Jeff!" He looked at Jadeite. ---- . "You know you can tell me." Seiya looked at her." He rubbed his knuckles. "I'll help. Now Seiya please don't tell anyone! We have to go now. "No." He looked at her. There were more things going on here than they were letting on. "Call if you need anything at all. He gave her a hug." Serena's head was starting to pound now. Serena sighed. He came up behind her and held her steady. Something else had happened. "Just take care of yourself ok? And come back to us in one piece. "Serena." He nodded to the two men and left. "He was here when I got it.236 Chance Encounters "Let him go!" Serena put her hand on Darien and Jedite's arms." "Seiya please. Darien gave her a questioning look. They let him go." She leaned back on him. Darien saw her start to waver. "Chèrie. He stopped.
"You approve chèrie?" He asked knowing full well that she did from her smile. "Oh Darien it's lovely. She unlocked it and they walked in. Serena went back to Darien and hugged him. I'll go and get unpacked. Serena was recovering quickly and they were sure that they were secluded from the rest of the world. He handed them a newspaper. Darien amazed her again with a new talent. The next five weeks. She started unpacking and hung up the clothes." She wandered through exploring every room. It was great not to have to hide and constantly look over her shoulder. "I learned it on the vineyard with my papa. Things were going well. On the bed were her and Darien's bags. No one outside of Jadeite. It was a little house on a hill over looking a lush vineyard. It was a lot bigger inside than it looked outside. Serena was very impressed. their parents and Nephlite knew where it was." Serena walked into what she presumed to be their bedroom. It was wonderful. He shrugged. On the cover was a picture of Darien with a ." She looked at the door. Serena looked at it and smiled." Serena brought out the meal she prepared for them. Jadeite travelled back and forth bringing them news of what was going on. It was warm and cosy. It looks like our luck is about to change.237 Chance Encounters The three of them arrived at the house a day later. He was just as handy with a hammer and nails as he was with the piano. They sat and ate and talked. Darien and Serena spent all their time together talking and redoing parts of the house. "Can we go in now?" Darien smiled and handed her the keys. Serena loved it on sight. "It's gorgeous. "It's great. "Darien. how did you have time to learn how to do that?" He and Jadeite brought the bookcase he made into the living room. Serena smiled at the thought.
Darien shook his head and opened it up. I promise." Darien took it and slipped it into a player and turned it on. I do. "You are so good together. She went through and read them out loud one by one. "Serena. they had made a clean disappearance." He hugged her to him. I never thought I'd say this but I miss the craziness of Rez. Darien scowled as He crumpled it up and threw it aside. they're great. According to the article. Jadeite smiled. chèrie. "You have such good friends." Jadeite gave Serena a bunch of letters from her friends. "I know. I guess I'm just a little homesick. "Yes. "Come here chèrie. "I hate reporters. No one had any clue as to their whereabouts." Jadeite shook his head. And you know how tired I was of that." Darien saw the look on her face.238 Chance Encounters big question mark over it. They're very sweet. "I'm even starting to miss performing. Inside were pictures of her and Darien rushing past the photographers at the hospital." He kissed her cheek. They did know about the baby and the accident. "Here are your phone messages." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny tape. The headline read: le Conte's Disappearing Trick. it's completely understandable. There was ." They laughed. Darien sat and listened to them smiling. You must miss them so much." She shook her head unbelievably." She felt a little sad." "Yeah. non?" Serena sat in his lap." "As soon as this whole thing is over we'll go back. though. "I know it's hard. "You two even get sad at the same time.
They were complaining about each other and looking for advice and generally whining about missing her. are you alright?" He came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. they didn't stand a chance. She couldn't believe that anyone would use their pain to taunt them. Serena. be nice. Her entire body started to shake. cursing them for sending the cops. She knew if that he could have gotten his hands on the caller right now. The message ended there. Then they heard the last message. She had never heard the voice before but now that she had Serena wanted revenge. Darien looked furious. "I will be back soon. There was a pause. Someone was playing games with their lives and because of it they had lost their . I see you still haven't learned your lesson. Not out of fear but out of anger. "Chèrie. "Serena. rigid and seemingly staring off into space. You'd better watch out because if you think that little accident that your precious girlfriend had was bad. whoever it was.239 Chance Encounters message after message from Mina." Darien smiled and punched her lightly in the shoulder. "Take it to the police in Paris. You can't hide from me. Lita and Raye. It was that voice again. Serena was just as angry. Oh so sorry to hear about the baby. Serena shook her head. Darien ripped the tape out of the machine and handed it to Jadeite. They all shared an exasperated look over that one. He walked him to the door and locked it behind him. "I think I'm over my homesickness thing." Jadeite took it and nodded gravely. then you're going to hate this. Darien nodded." There was one from Fabienne wishing them well and there was one from Sabine. He turned back to find that Serena still sat in the chair. the look in his eyes even gave Serena the chills." He put on his coat and walked to the front door.
If she needed to find solace in his arms then he would give it to her. He felt bad enough as it was. She closed her eyes and let herself drown in the sensations that washed over her. He opened them again when he felt her hand clutch his shirt. She told him that she didn't blame him for what happened but he blamed himself. Darien knew how she felt. It was almost like he was afraid she would break if he touched her. but right now Serena needed more. He felt a primal need to protect and comfort her. She needed to forget what was happening for a little while. Darien had tried to control himself around her since she left the hospital. sweetheart. Darien wasn't quite sure how to approach her. He wanted this nightmare to be over. "They will. "I want this ended. Lightly. Whoever it was. He knew that if he hadn't been so weak. Darien looked at her." Her voice was quiet but the way that she said the words had chills running down his spine. A confused moaned rumbled in his chest. Darien treated her like glass. So he kept his distance." He rested his head on hers and closed his eyes. a touch. . Serena focussed on him. Ever since she left the hospital. Look at me. Serena's fear and anger slowly ebbed away. Even though he knew that she had recovered from her injuries. it had been so long since they were together and the way that she was kissing him had his body screaming for her. a look. I want who ever is doing this to us to be punished. Darien responded to her fervent kiss. she wouldn't have gotten hurt in the first place. She looked both angry and terrified at the same time. They will. was going to pay dearly. her nose and then he gently caressed her lips with his own. Severely. She held him to her when he tried to pull back. he didn't think he could handle it if her hurt her. But now he couldn't hold himself back." She hadn't noticed it but Darien had kneeled in front of her and was holding her face with both hands. He still showed her he loved her other ways.240 Chance Encounters child. But now wasn't the time to be loosing their heads. Darien kissed her eyes. He pulled her rigid body to his and held her. "Serena. chèrie. He put his finger under her chin and tipped her head up to face him. He felt her raw need and met it with his own. He had never heard her more angry or more serious. Serena deepened the kiss.
241 Chance Encounters Serena pulled Darien's sweater off and smoothed her hands over his chest. Serena leaned down and kissed him. inside her. Quickly. he removed all of Serena's clothes a gazed lovingly at her body. She smiled. He kissed and ran his tongue over her skin on his way up her body. Serena arched herself against him. She watched his face as he got closer and closer to the edge. Darien tried to move beneath her but she stopped him. Darien grinned back as he flipped her over and began to move again. Darien thought his knees were going to give out. she could feel it. but now that she had she relished in it. He moaned and picked her up. riding him. She rocked faster and harder. He tired to pull her down so that he could kiss her. Darien moaned. Gently. teasing him with her tongue. He finally reached her lips again. He had no choice but to follow her lead. "Oh god!" the sensation jolted through him. She slid her hands over every muscle revelling the feel of his hard body. He kissed her neck as he carried her to their bed. Slowly she shifted her hips. The fevered pitch of the need going through his body was overwhelming. Darien held himself back. Serena kissed his chest. Gently she took him into her. letting him know just how much she wanted him. . Slowly she undid his jeans and released him from its confines. Pleasure streaked through his body at the fleeting contact. he traced her lips with his tongue and slipped inside. licking and kissing. She didn't know that she could take control this way. He moved against her. rocking gently at first. Darien needed to love her and have her love him in return. She pulled him up to her and took his shouts of ecstasy into her mouth as she climaxed herself. In one swift movement he was beneath her. Her body seemed to go completely lax as she melted into Darien. letting her hair trail lightly over him. down his body until she was kneeling in front of him. She shook her head as if to tell him to wait. Wide eyed Serena stared at Darien as she felt him grow hard again. His smiled when he felt her shivering with pleasure. Spurred on by his groans. Darien tried to pull her up to him but she pushed his hands away. Serena took him into her hands and caressed him lightly. with her. Serena slid. He knelt at the foot of the bed and started nibbling on her toes. she guided him to her mouth and flicked him with her tongue. She looked up at him through her lashes and smiled wickedly.
It some how made her feel normal again and distracted her from the things that had happened. Oui. brow creased. ---Jadeite returned a few days later. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction."Serena felt a little better after hearing the news. Something was up. I'll be there as soon as I can. He told them that the police were on it and they were analyzing the tape as they spoke." It didn't make her feel any better though. "They will contact you as soon as the find anything. "And the bad news?" Serena knew what was coming. They were no longer holding anything back. chèrie. She was also relieved now that she and Darien were back to normal. Darien. "I have some good news and I have some not so good news." He hung up and looked at Serena." He shrugged helplessly. "I have to go to Paris to talk to them. "We can't risk letting anyone know where we are. "Can't you wait a little while? Just until Jadeite gets back?" He had gone into town to get . How are things?" He paused. "Hi Nephlite." "I know." "Well the police have a lead on who's out to get us. Darien sat on the couch." He looked grim. They were getting closer to having this whole this sorted out. Serena sat down next to him and put her hand on his knee. "Give it to me then. there was a call on Darien's cell phone. Darien and Serena busied their days with simple things like chores and housework. She closed her eyes as the incredible feelings swept through her again. "Oui. Late one afternoon.242 Chance Encounters Serena groaned as she was swept up again in the tide of sensation that Darien created." Serena nodded. It was fantastic. "Allô?" Darien answered.
. "What's going on?" Darien quickly filled him in while he got his coat and shoes." He kissed her and put on his coat and shoes." He wasn't sure if he should leave her. "Hi. "Jadeite be careful. "Who is it!" She looked around the room for a weapon. He helped her put the groceries away and clean up the house. He couldn't see anything. He walked out and Serena locked the door behind him." He looked at her. "I have to go now if I hope to get there before dark. He turned to Serena. "Jadeite." He patted Jadeite on the back and walked out the door. She wished she hadn't let Jadeite go investigate. And peeked out the window looking for any sign of an intruder. Jadeite put down the towel he held and walked to the door. They were talking and doing dishes when they heard a clanging sound from outside. where are you?" Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Jadeite should be back in a few minutes. especially when it was getting dark." Serena turned to him. "I'll be back as soon as I can. She stood in the middle of the living room listening for any sounds. If I'm not back in five minutes call the police. "Go. but at that moment Jadeite walked in the door. "I'll be back soon." He nodded.243 Chance Encounters some food and Serena was still uneasy about being left alone. They looked at each other. "Lock the door behind me. But she was still fearful. She heard absolutely nothing. I'll be back in a second." Serena nodded." Darien kissed her again. "Looks like it's just the two of us eh?" Serena looked at Jadeite and smiled. Serena's eyes widened. I'll stay here with Serena. I have my key. "I have to go see." He looked at their faces and put the bags he was holding down.
"I'm ok. She flicked it open . Serena looked up just in time to see a branch swing straight at her head. It took several tries but she was finally able to get it out of his boot. reach down and grab the knife from my boot. She thought she'd gone blind. She leaned over some more and tried again. she couldn't see anything. "What happened?" Serena immediately opened the door. Serena try to be quiet. "Shhhh. She turned her head from side to side looking around. Confused. "It's Darien! Something's happened to him! He told me to come get you!" She sounded frantic.244 Chance Encounters "Fabienne!" It came as a muffled cry from the other side of the door. When she came to. It was Jadeite. She was tied to something heavy. It was just Fabienne. She wriggled around and the something moaned. Then everything went black. But she still saw nothing. Serena. There were hammers hanging on the wall and she thought she could make out the outlines of a lawnmower. Nephlite must have told her where they were. They were in a shed. Then little by little she started to pick up little details about her surroundings. Serena let out a sigh of relief. She tried to move but couldn't. She stopped immediately. Serena tried to move her arm so that she could hold her pounding head but she was tied down. Her finger tips could just touch it. "Jadeite! Are you ok?" She tried to look over her shoulder at him. Fabienne stood on the other side in jeans and a sweatshirt and she was laughing. Then it hit her. She could barely reach it. Fabienne? What was she doing here? She wasn't even supposed to know where they were. She sat and stared into the darkness. "What do you want?" Serena wasn't sure if she should open the door or not." He manoeuvred himself around." Serena did as she was told.
and cut the ropes holding them together. Free from the ropes Jadeite rubbed his wrists and ankles. Serena did the same. She stood up and looked at him. He had a nasty looking gash on his forehead that was still bleeding, though a majority of it had already clotted. "Jadeite, hold still." Serena ripped a bit off of her T-shirt and held it against his head. She guessed that he had been hit over the head as well. "Thanks." He grabbed hold of it and went to the door. He opened it a tiny crack and peered out. "Fabienne is outside guarding." He turned back to Serena. Serena watched him when he opened the door. She ran her hands though her hair and could feel something wet and sticky. She brought her hand close to her face so she could see that it was. Her hand was covered in blood. "Shit!" She quickly tore another bit off her shirt and held it to her own head. Fabienne hit her harder than she thought. Serena felt along the back wall to see if there was a way out. She felt something like a window sill. "Jadeite, check this out. "I think I found a window." He came over and started to work at opening it. Serena was seething. "Fabienne! That bitch! She was behind the whole thing!" "No, not totally." Jadeite and Serena whirled to look at the door. Fabienne stood in the opening smiling at them. "Now if you'll get back over here." Serena noticed for the first time that she was holding a gun. She waved it motioning for them to move back into the room. They did as she asked. Jadeite moved himself in front of Serena. "Fabienne why are you doing this?" He slowly moved toward her. His voice was calm and quiet. "As a favour. Now stop moving Jadeite or I'll have to hurt you." She looked totally serious. "You don't mean that. We've known each other forever." He stepped closer. "We've all been friends since we were children." He was right up to her now.
"Jadeite, I'm warning you..." Jadeite put his hand on the gun. "Fabienne, please give me the gun." Her eyes narrowed and a shot rang out, shattering the silence. A look of shock crossed Jadeite's face as he slumped to the ground. "No!" Serena ran to Jadeite and knelt down beside him. "Are you crazy?" She tried to find the wound. "I warned him." There was no remorse in her eyes as she stood over them. Serena ignored her for the time being. It was more important to help Jadeite. She found the wound on his right side. It was gushing blood but it didn't look like she hit anything vital. Quickly she looked around for something to stop the bleeding. There was a watering can, and a few boxes on the ground, nothing that would help her. She took off her shirt and used it to staunch the bleeding. She held his head in her lap and applied pressure to the wound. "Jadeite. Say something." She stared at his face hoping to see a flicker of life. His eyes slowly opened. "Oh thank god!" "Aren't you the sweet little girl." Fabienne glared at her. "What the hell is your problem? You could have killed him!" Serena was fuming but fought to control her emotions. Fabienne strolled over to her and squatted in front of her. "It was his fault." "You bitch!" Fabienne hit her across the face with the butt of the gun. "Shut up!" The coppery taste of blood filled Serena's mouth. She spit. "So why are you doing this? You want Darien for yourself?" Serena smiled at her. "I can assure you that he wouldn't want a stupid bitch like you." Fabienne hit her again. The pain exploded in a million colours but Serena held it in and laughed bitterly. "You'll have to do better than that." She wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of seeing her in pain. Carefully she
moved out from under Jadeite's head and gently lowered him to the ground. She put his hand on her already soaked shirt to hold it in place. She stood up and faced her. "How could you do that to an old friend?" She nodded at Jadeite's lifeless body. "How could you do this to Darien?" Serena glared at her. She was the one that had been making her life hell. Every instinct she had told her to attack, but Serena held back. She wanted to find out why. Fabienne pointed the gun at her. "Shut up!" "What are you going to do? Shoot me? That will really help you out. Darien will really want to get with the girl who shot his fiancée." "It doesn't matter. I don't want him anyways." She was as cool as ever. "Besides he'll be too busy trying to find you again." "That's right." Serena's attention turned to the familiar voice. A dark figure stood behind Fabienne. "He'll think that you ran off with Jadeite. At least that's what we'll make it look like. When he can't find you anywhere he'll come running to us for comfort. We'll convince him he is better without you." He stepped into the light. "And everything will be back to normal." Serena's jaw dropped. "Nephlite!" ---Darien drove down the dark road as fast as the car could go. He arrived in Paris in just over an hour and a half. He ran up the steps and went straight to the police station. The detective seemed surprised to see him. "Monsieur le Conte, what are you doing here? I told Jadeite that I would contact you as soon as I..." Darien stopped him. "You didn't want me to come?" "No, I still haven't finished analyzing the tape yet..." Darien didn't wait for him to finish. He ran back out to the car and sped off.
What the hell was going on? Nephlite told him that they had a lead. He even left Serena behind to come here... Merde! It was a diversion! Now Serena and Jadeite were all alone! He was so stupid! He thought back over the past couple years. After he met Serena, Nephlite suddenly couldn't handle his job. Things were going wrong constantly and he was helpless. Nephlite was always calling on him for help and advice on things that he took care of for ages. It all made sense now. "That bastard set it up so I couldn't be with Serena!" Darien berated himself for being such a fool. He sped back home. "Hang on Serena." He couldn't wait to get his hands on Nephlite. ---"Nephlite, why are you doing this?" Serena was confused. He was Darien's oldest friend. How was he involved in this whole thing? "Why are you trying to hurt Darien so much?" "I'm not. I'm trying to save him." He took the gun off of Fabienne and walked over to Serena. "From what? He's never been happier!" Nephlite had a strange little smile on his face. "You see, since he met you he's lost his mind a little. It is no longer with his work." He paced brandishing the gun. "So I guess you could say that I'm saving him from himself." "He's happy and content. You should be happy for him!" Serena spat the words at him. Nephlite slithered up to her and ran the cold metal barrel under her chin and down her neck. She shivered. "You're crazy!" "You would be too if you loved someone so much for most of your life and they never even notice you." Love? What the hell was he talking about? "Of course he notices you. You're his best friend!"
He pushed the barrel into her throat lifting her head to look at him. "That's not what I want." "What do you want?" Serena stared at him. He had a maniacal look on his face. "I want him to love me!" His eyes were wide now. Love him! Serena's eyes widened. He was in love with Darien. No way! She saw him with those girls in Vienna and Darien said he always had women crawling all over him. Then it dawned on her he never had a girlfriend that she knew of and he never spoke of one either. She quickly turned her attention back to him. Who knew what he was capable of in a rage. "How could you do this to him if you love him? You should want him to be happy!" Oh shit! Things started to click. He had been the one making things go wrong whenever Darien wanted to come and see her. That bastard! "He was happy until he met you. He had his music and he had me and Fabienne. Then Darien met you and he went crazy. All he talked about was you. Serena this, Serena that. He was like a love sick puppy!" He smiled at her again, a wide, frenetic grin. "Believe me, this is best for him." He held the gun against her throat again. "Once your pretty little face and hot little body are out of the way. He can go back to normal." He ran the gun over her breasts and back up to her throat. Serena backed away from him a little. He was truly crazed. She had to keep him talking. "So it was you who made things go wrong whenever Darien got the chance to come and see me." "How clever! You finally figured it out." Fabienne glared at her. "And the phone calls?" He laughed. "You sounded so pathetic pleading with the phone. Please Darien! Say something! I love you Darien!" he mimicked her voice. "You're such a stupid girl! You never even realized it was me who found
"Yes." He grinned. "Since Darien is on a wild goose chase right now. She felt the handle to something. "You see all that time you spent with Jadeite." He shook his head slowly. brought you two close together. "Always there doing everything I could for him! He still never noticed me!" He was freaking out. you're quite stubborn aren't you?" He spoke of her as if she was nothing more than an inconvenience. "But you." Serena kept her eyes on him. And you realized that you loved him and not Darien." Sickened that someone would go that far Serena fought to keep her temper in check. "Darien trusted you Nephlite!" "He always was a trusting fool.250 Chance Encounters you're old boyfriend. what's his name. "So how are you going to make it look like I left with Jadeite then?" Serena gestured with her left hand while the other felt behind her trying to find something she could use as a weapon." "You must have been pissed that you didn't get me with that car accident. How else do you think he found you and got into all your classes?" He took a moment to admire his gun. "It's all very simple. why wouldn't he trust me? I'm reliable Nephlite. obviously proud of himself. She . He was supposed to mess you up so much that you couldn't stand to look at another man." He grinned at her. sweetie. It would have been so much easier if you had died then." He circled her slowly grinning. "It's amazing what a little cash can do." "How could you? You've made my life a living hell!" "That was the point. always there to straighten things out. but Serena kept talking. it was quite unfortunate. But then. "Well." He waved his arms around. We'll kill you and Jadeite and dispose of your bodies. Then we'll leave a note saying that you left him for Jadeite.
Darien would have made me godfather." He laughed. She kept the rake trained on Nephlite while she looked around for Fabienne. "You know. "It was quite sad about your baby though. There was no telling what those two were capable of. She looked back into the shed. Everything clicked now. Who other than Nephlite would know where they were all the time? He knew their phone numbers. Serena snuck to the door of the shed and looked out. She tucked it into the waistband of her jeans then grabbed the rake again.. They had been her friends. Serena felt a slight twinge of despair. "Bastard!" Enraged. She was nowhere in sight. She had to get moving. She looked back at them once more. Look at me. There was no one around." He didn't open his eyes. Quickly Serena tied Nephlite up with the pieces of rope that once held her and Jadeite." He didn't sound the lest bit upset." Her hand closed around the handle. She swung again and connected with the side of his head. It was like a slap in the face and she snapped. Argh! Serena snapped herself out of it. She had to find Fabienne and check on Jadeite who had been quiet and motionless for way too long. She couldn't believe she had been so stupid. she swung it at him and caught him off guard she knocked the gun into the darkness. Serena felt for a pulse and was thrilled when she found one. And now.Serena touched the still bleeding bump on her head and flinched. Serena fought back the urge to continue hitting him. Serena's hand convulsed on the rake. Knew how to keep them apart. She'd trusted them. She knelt beside her friend's lifeless body. "Jadeite. where they lived. Serena reached into his boot and pulled it out. Knew what they were doing. Sent over the edge. . It was weak but at least it was there.251 Chance Encounters gritted her teeth. She scrambled around looking for the gun but couldn't find it in the dark. The best thing that she could do was to try going to the house and calling the police. "Shit!" All she had was the rake! Then she remembered Jadeite's knife. She couldn't risk moving Jadeite and she didn't want to move Nephlite in case he came to.. Jadeite. "Yes I am. From what she could make out it was the handle to a rake. Where the hell was Fabienne? Serena couldn't afford getting hit again. breaking his glasses and knocking him to the ground unconscious.
She looked like a crazed Amazon. Darien knelt beside his fallen friend and felt for a pulse.252 Chance Encounters Serena crept to a tree and tried to use it as cover while she looked around. Serena checked on Jadeite herself. Serena ran to the house and peered in the windows. Serena was about to open the door when she heard a car. Her body was covered in blood and her hand was clenched on a rake. "Jadeite is in trouble. She couldn't see the other woman anywhere. The first thing he noticed was she was running to him in her bra." Again she scanned the darkness. Darien's eyes widened when he saw the state she was in. She parted the branches of a shrub slightly and looked to see who it was. "Serena!" Darien jumped out of the car and ran straight to the door. He pounded on it while he tried to get his keys. Once her eyes were acclimatized they widened. They were out there somewhere. Darien ran his hands over her looking for where all the blood was coming from. Darien! Then she stopped herself. He turned to Serena. "Darien. Serena tightened her grip on the rake and tried to slink as quietly as she could to the side of the house closest to the driveway. "Oh my god! Serena. still no sign of Fabienne. "Call the police." She pulled him toward the shed. There was no sign of her inside either." She held her finger to her lips trying to get him to keep quiet." He pulled out a cell phone and dialled. Serena led the way into the shed. Inside she blinked a few times to adjust to the dim light. "He's got a pulse but it's very weak. "Tell me what's going on. Her hair was matted with dried blood and her jaw had turned an ugly shade of purple." She looked around the corner. . prepared to clobber any foe she encountered." He quickly pulled off his sweater and replaced Serena's blood soaked shirt. "We need an ambulance. Only Jadeite was in there. what's going on?" He ran to her. "Where are you hurt?" "No time to explain. Serena came out of her hiding place." He gave them the address and hung up. "Shit! Where'd he go!" Serena tightened her grip on the rake again as her eyes darted around the small room. "Serena! Are you ok?" Relieved it was Darien. It might be Fabienne. Nephlite and Fabienne are trying to kill me and Jadeite.
He never dreamed that Nephlite would go that far. "Nephlite. "Darien can't you see? Serena is crazy!" He pointed her and then at Jadeite. Luckily no one noticed." The irritatingly calm voice came from the doorway." "You asshole!" She couldn't believe she was hearing this! He had the gall to accuse her of what he was doing the whole time! Serena looked at Darien." Nephlite's voice was calm and soothing. And now she's after us because we walked in on the whole thing. Darien. You see there was no stalker. "Put the gun down and we'll settle this like civilized people." Serena glared at him. "Is this true?" His eyes welled up. . Darien held her back. but dropped the phone to the ground leaving the line open so that anyone on the other end could hear what was going on. Darien shook his head and unbelievingly looked at them both. but Serena wouldn't because she was too interested in your money. They've been playing you for a fool. "Darien you know me. Nephlite. It was them the whole time. "It's him! It's been him the whole time!" "Jadeite had been trying to get her to live with him for months. Serena lunged at him and would have hit him except Darien clamped a hand on her arm. "She and Jadeite were having an affair. They turned around to find Nephlite and Fabienne standing there with the gun on them. "How quickly the tables turn eh Serena?" Serena smiled with satisfaction when she saw the ugly bruise on the side of his face from where she struck him with the rake. "Put the phone down Darien. Her heart ached when she saw the hurt in his eyes. Darien didn't hang up. Serena shot Jadeite when he threatened to tell you the truth. She wanted a piece of him and at that moment she could have torn him limb from limb with her bare hands. What's is the meaning of this?" Darien looked incredibly confused.253 Chance Encounters "Where are they?" He pulled out the phone and dialled again.
"Fine you win. If Darien wasn't on her side then he was the enemy as well. Slowly. Serena?" Fabienne nearly purred.254 Chance Encounters You know I'm not like that." She swung it a few times hoping it would draw attention away from Darien. would I lie to you? I've been your friend for years and have I ever lied to you?" "Darien! No don't listen to him!" Darien's jaw clenched and he shook his head. Darien believed Nephlite's word over hers. Relief coursed through her. She glared at the three of them. but could only look at them in a state of shock. This was going to be painful. How could he? After all they've been through? Everything that's happened to them? A solitary tear ran down her cheek. Serena wanted to pound the smirk off of her face. Darien was looking at Nephlite. Then she caught Darien's eye. but she forced it back down. Serena waited for Darien's cue. He knew! Slowly he turned and stared right at her. For a tense moment no one moved. Then Darien lunged for the gun the same moment that Serena swung at Fabienne. He was on her side. . She couldn't believe that Darien would turn on her like that. Serena's gripped tightened and she glared at them. There was that same dangerous glint sparking through them. Serena steeled herself. Taking a deep shuddering breath. "Darien. She angled the rake on the ground and broke off the end off so that she had just the handle. He had the same look in his eye as when they listened to the phone message. betrayal was replaced by fury. "Darien! Don't!" she started to tremble uncontrollably." Serena's jaw dropped when he walked over to Nephlite. Serena hit her on the side of the head and she fell unconscious to the ground." Nephlite kept his gun on Serena. Satisfied that she was out. bit by bit. She couldn't believe it. Serena felt utterly betrayed. But I'm not giving up without a fight. "Nephlite has never lied to me. "Nothing to say.
This will do nicely. Fabienne saw it coming and swiped her branch out to deflect the blow. The other woman quietly got up off the ground and came up behind Serena. But Darien didn't know that. Fabienne jumped forward and swung again catching Serena in the shoulder. Serena flinched from the pain. Darien and Nephlite were struggling on the ground in a tangle of arms and legs. she could feel the air move on the side of her face. She pressed her hand against the side of her head and brought it down. She spun around when she heard a snapping sound behind her. Her hand was covered in blood. She knew that she was no match for Serena while she had a rake. She couldn't risk hitting Darien. That bitch! She looked over and saw what was going on. Rubbing her shoulder she and Fabienne circled each other slowly. Fabienne searched the ground for a weapon. Fabienne shook her head and sat up. Fabienne unintentionally stepped on a twig. trying to find another opening. "Merde!" She swung the branch as hard as she could when Serena turned. She knew how to protect herself. Serena knew Nephlite wouldn't try and shoot Darien. She was so engrossed in them that she didn't notice that Fabienne hadn't been knocked out. "Stop it! I don't want to hurt you Fabienne!" She didn't care. She was worried that Darien might push Nephlite too far and accidentally get shot. Serena stood by helplessly watching them roll around on the ground. Fabienne grabbed a branch from under a tree. Serena jumped back. Serena took her chance and lifted the handle over her head and struck. She had seen how Serena handled herself. She was going to mess up Serena's pretty little face even more. "I've had it with you!" Teeth bared she charged at Serena. . Serena narrowly missed her head. Fabienne must have still been unsteady from the earlier blow because she stumbled on a patch of uneven ground.255 Chance Encounters Serena turned and went for Nephlite.
He jumped on top of him and held him down." His face was twisted with hatred. Now Serena was no match for me without her stick. Serena watched as it fell to the ground in slow motion. Darien managed to roll on top and pin Nephlite down. "You're so stupid." Darien was deadly serious. She was going to savour this moment. "You've lost your mind since you met her! Everything is about her. On the ground Darien and Nephlite still struggled for control of the gun. Serena gritted her teeth. "I think it will be enough!" She ran at Serena and swung." He saw Darien's puzzled look and punched him again. Nephlite snarled and twisted throwing Darien over." Fabienne still smiled. Fabienne smiled at her. "But we will be together if she's out of the way. Darien didn't flinch. She looked back at Fabienne's triumphant grin. Serena dropped her weapon. "Fuck you!" He spit the blood in his mouth at Nephlite. "Especially when he has a clear shot at your woman?" "Do it and I'll kill you with my bare hands. "Why are you doing this?" Darien couldn't comprehend why his best friend would go to such lengths to get rid of a girl. "It's not over yet. "Now is that a nice thing to say to your best friend?" Nephlite waved the gun in his face. "Can't you see you fool? I'm doing this for you." Nephlite's voice . "So now what are you going to do?" Fabienne circled her slowly. Darien.256 Chance Encounters Serena tried to dodge but she managed to strike her hand. "I don't think so. Serena turned facing her no matter where Fabienne moved. but he wouldn't let go of the gun." He punched Darien in the face. You think that a little stick is going to keep me down?" Serena grinned at her challengingly." If she could get her to strike at her she might be able to get her to drop it. "You never even noticed me for all those years. "It makes me sick!" he looked down at Darien.
He tried to get his mind around the concept. the action just made him feel better. "Serena!" he punched ." Darien was sick to his stomach. He saw Nephlite lift the gun and point in the direction of the struggling women. It didn't look good. She had stopped just as she was about to hit Serena." He grinned. "Just one pull." "Serena!" Darien ripped his arm out from under Nephlite's knee and pulled his arm just as he pulled the trigger. Her eyes widened and she dropped the branch. He struggled harder to get out from underneath him. She looked at Fabienne's pale face and glazing eyes. It wasn't possible. She saw fresh blood had poured out onto her stomach over Jadeite's dried blood. They both fell over. "What are you talking about?" "I've done everything for you. she had been shot! Relieved that it wasn't Darien that was shot she turned Fabienne over on the ground and ripped off the other woman's shirt and pressed it on the gushing wound on her chest. I did everything! And how do you repay me? You run off with the first little slut that open her legs for you!" He punched Darien again. A shot rang out in the darkness. "I have loved you for most of my life and you have never once noticed me. Fabienne stumbled forward into Serena. She completely forgot about the fact that she was about to get her head smashed in.257 Chance Encounters had an odd sound to it. Darien glared at him. Darien only saw both women go to the ground and thought that Serena had been shot. Panic and rage coursed through his veins. Shocked Serena pushed her off and looked down at herself. "And you'll be mine. Nephlite was in love with him. Serena turned to look and almost ran to him when she saw Fabienne. Took care of the petty little things. scheduled your concerts. Serena stared at her. But she didn't feel any new pain. The first thought that entered her mind was that Darien had been shot. interviews.
. Serena had reacted without even thinking. she's gone.258 Chance Encounters Nephlite hard enough to knock him off balance." "No!" Nephlite's handsome features were distorted with anger and hatred. He lifted the gun and grabbed Serena. trying to get her out of the way. Then. the razor-sharp blade slid in all the way to the hilt. his eyes flickered from Serena to Darien. Serena buried her face in the warmth of Darien's chest. Needed to make sure she was all right. Shuddering. Darien was relieved to see her moving about. Sickeningly effortless. She resisted and pulled something out of the waistband of her jeans. Darien wrapped his arms around her cold body and held her. Darien saw things as if they were happening in slow motion. Darien prised the gun from Nephlite's shaking hands. "It's over Serena. He needed to get to Serena. She was barely aware of Darien's strong arms holding her. He took one look at the woman on the ground and saw that it was over. "Serena. before he could get a clean shot at him. He stared at them. Nephlite slammed into her. "It's not over!" He jumped to his feet and ran at them. He put a hand on her shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly to him. She saw the look of surprise on Nephlite's face as he slid to the ground on his knees. Somewhere in the . He took another gasping breath and fell face first into the grass. Darien wanted so much to continue hitting him but he stopped himself. Horrified Serena let go as Darien pulled her back. Nephlite sat on the grass laughing hysterically and staring wildly into space. Darien kicked him off and stood up. completely numb. Gritting his teeth." Serena looked at her and stood up. "Darien. She was holding a sweater on Fabienne's chest. All she knew was that Nephlite was in a psychotic rage and she had to protect Darien and herself. It's finally over. She remembered Jadeite's knife and flicked out the blade just in time to impale Nephlite in the stomach.. He looked at him. Darien ran over to her and saw her trying to help Fabienne." Nephlite struggled to form the word.
It was over.259 Chance Encounters distance she heard sirens peeling. but she didn't care. .
EPILOGUE c December 1999 Serena covered her face with her handbag as she strode past the crowd of reporters into the building. after all of the drama. she got to spend her time in France with Darien while she got the lectures over the web and she would return to present seminars and for final exams. But now that she'd graduated last spring she moved all of her stuff over and settled in with Darien. She waved at him as she swept past the desk and got into the elevator. It worked for her. Serena didn't feel like talking to anyone. She had gone to her agent to get things settled over her book that was due to come out in a few weeks. Serena leaned against the back of the elevator and thought about what had happened over the past year. And all because she was seeing one of he world's most eligible bachelors. They were their friends for so long that it only seemed right. Serena sighed. It seemed like everyone was after them for movie deals or book deals and interviews. She was an English major after all. Darien and Serena paid for a proper funeral. She just wanted to go home and relax with Darien.260 - . Didier smiled and waved at her. And because of that she did it gladly. It was so sad how things ended. But it was the price she'd have to pay to be with him. She then flew back and forth between school and Paris. It had been a very long day. She managed to arrange a compromise with her professors. Serena decided to write her and Darien's story herself. Afterwards. She still had her apartment in Vancouver but she sublet to Mina and Lita. Serena unofficially moved in with Darien in Paris. She shook her head wearily. . It was concluded that Nephlite and Fabienne were the ones that had been terrorizing them and the case was closed. It had been over a year since that fateful night and reporters were still after her and Darien for interviews. The reporters were so tiresome.
It was suppose to be the biggest party ever and he had been working himself ragged over it. "Is she anyone I know?" "You bet your ass baby!" Serena spun around at the familiar voice. Serena sat next to Darien and gave him a kiss. "When? How?" She couldn't seem to move beyond one syllable words. "I was just telling Darien that I've got a new girlfriend. She looked forward to spending some time with Darien. From how he looked when he got home late every night. "So what's up?" The three of them had gotten to be very good friends since the night. but lately he was scarcely seen. The doctors told them that if it hadn't been for Serena he probably wouldn't have made it. Serena walked in the door. For the past couple months he had been busy preparing for the Millennium. "You didn't think that I would let you be the only one with an international . "We haven't seen much of you lately. Serena was just glad that she could help her friend. But today he decided to take the evening off so that they could spend some much needed time together. He was to play just hours before the clock struck midnight for the million people projected to attend. Jadeite stopped by all the time just to say hi and hang out. "Raye!" She ran to her friend and gave her a hug. after all the upheaval and adjusting to new surroundings. They stood up when they saw her. "That's great!" She gave him another hug. Darien was working very hard." That would explain it. Happily." He grinned happily. She hadn't seen very much of him in weeks.261 Chance Encounters Now. coordinating his concert for the new years celebration. life was beginning to get back to normal. Darien sat on the couch with a golden haired man laughing. "It's great to see you! You're looking well!" She took off her coat and boots and put them in the closet. "Jadeite!" She ran over and gave him a hug. Serena's eyes widened.
"What?" "We're moving in together!" Mina and Malachite smiled happily. Andrew and Seiya filed out of the kitchen. They had just finished unpacking and rushed over to surprise Serena. Kyle. "Since you will be here for a few days how about we spread it out a bit?" Serena looked at them. Mina. "Sorry I asked!" he laughed. Seiya smiled. "Oh my god! You guys! What are you doing here?" She ran to them for a group hug. Malachite. "We have to get a place like this. "We're just down the street from you!" She looked very excited. Glad that you could all make it." He looked out the window at the snow covered city. "You're here for New Years then? Great! Which hotel are you at?" She went to the fridge for some mineral water." Serena's eyes widened. "We love your guys' place!" she looked at Malachite. Darien held up his hands. "What would you guys like to do first?" Everyone started shouting their ideas. "Thanks. It was the first break he had in months and he looked forward to spending it with Serena and her friends. laughing along with her new boyfriend. . "You're guy over there thought for some reason that you might've missed us. Mina shook her head.262 Chance Encounters guy did you?" She sat next to Jadeite. One by one Lita. "Hey what about us? Serena turned again. "We're in a studio a few buildings down!" Darien had set them up in an apartment down the street from their own place. eh?" Andrew turned to Darien. And who are we to turn down a free trip. "Beautiful plane man!" Darien smiled at them all.
"How did you have time to arrange all this. They sat and talked about what had been going on since they last saw each other. There was activity everywhere under it and on it." She raised her brow at Andrew." Kyle backed away from him. Darien put his arm around her waist. "How about you guys?" "Well as a matter of fact. A few hours later they were walking down the street towards the Eiffel Tower. They laughed at her expectant look. you'd make such a cute couple though!" Everyone laughed. Then looked at the rest of them. "So anything else I should know about? Raye and Jadeite are going out. They all walked past watching the people bustling about. Laughing. "This is so great!" She looked at the remaining two. Serena had supported him every step of the way and even helped him where ever she could. He had hardly been around but she never complained once. Instead. He smiled when he remembered her bringing him a picnic for him and his crew at the concert . They were doing final checks on the fireworks display for the following night. What better way then to bring her friends over for the big party? He didn't tell her that her parents were also on their way. He felt that he had been neglecting Serena and wanted to make it up to her. "You guys!" Serena hugged them." Andrew put his arm around Lita's shoulders and smiled. Malachite and Min are moving in together." Darien looked at her smiling face. Seiya and Lita. Kyle. He wanted it to be another surprise. She couldn't believe that he flew her friends over. he was so sweet. Serena linked arms with Darien and smiled. "Aw. Darien?" "I had a spare moment here and there.263 Chance Encounters "That's fantastic you guys!" Serena gave them another hug. "If you're expecting me to throw my arms around Seiya you've got another thing coming. Serena hugged them anyway.
He wheeled the piano right up to the foot of the bed and played. When everyone thanked her she simply shrugged and smiled. I have a two hour concert. This was fantastic. happy look." She gave him a stern look. Exhausted. He would just have to wait." She giggled and kissed his neck. Darien and Serena walked through the door and fell onto the couch. They took the gang to several sights over the day then took the Metro home. "Oui. Darien remembered her eyes when she listened to it. She turned and watched her friends running around. Always. Serena was being a bit more mysterious about her gift for him though. Darien couldn't even guess what it could be. "Well maybe not total chaos. She leaned against him. The wind swirled through his hair and brought colour to his cheeks. All he knew was that she was working on it and that he would get it after new years. mademoiselle. It was the best reaction he could hope for. "So what can we expect tomorrow night?" "Total chaos. He was absolutely incredible. except for a couple of bugs that we can sort out tomorrow. "So do you have any work at all tonight?" He wrapped his arms around her shoulders. He woke her up that morning with the song. "Nope. and then you give me my present!" He gave her his most innocent look. her dreamy. We have everything worked out perfectly. "I'm all yours tonight.264 Chance Encounters site. He half-heartedly tried to get a hint or two out of her but he knew that there was no budging her when her mind was set. Serena smiled up at Darien. then the fireworks display." He shook his head and grinned when she arched her brow at him. He saluted. She couldn't be any happier." "Oh really? I thought you were all mine regardless. "Give me a hint?" . Serena was thrilled with both." Darien ran his cold nose down her neck. For Christmas he bought her a car of her own and he wrote her a song.
"You got any bottled water? I'm trying to cut back on caffeine. "Are you alright?" She walked in. "I take it you guys had fun last night. Serena knocked harder. "Hey you guys! Time to wake up!" . She knocked on their door. but she still didn't tell him.265 Chance Encounters Serena shook her head. "You think they'll kill me if I wake them?" "Yup." Her voice was scratchy. you'll just have to wait until tomorrow night ok?" "Please!" He got on his knees and put his head in her lap. a lot of swearing and then the door squeaked open. The studio was a mess. "Hi Serena." She looked over at her comatose friends." "Ok then. "Well you could always try to persuade me. Carefully. Clothes. She shook her head." Darien persuaded her very well. A mass of dark hair that Serena recognized as Raye squinted at her and opened the door further to let her in. she stepped over what looked like Andrew with his head in a lampshade. Darien had to go and do last minute checks so he dropped her off on his way. She didn't get an answer." Raye nodded. "Wanna cup?" Serena shook her head.. shoes and the seven of them were strewn everywhere.." Serena looked at her. The next morning Serena picked everyone up from their apartment. "Nope." Serena stood in the middle of the room and bellowed. "Come on in. bottles. banging with her palm. She finally heard some shuffling on the other side. She raised her eyebrows. "European stuff kicks butt." She pointed at a case of beer with 'Stella Artois' on the side and went to the kitchen for her coffee. Serena heard someone fumbling with the locks. Serena wanted it to be a big surprise.
She grew more and more excited as the light started to fade from the sky. How was yours?" "Pretty good. "Go 'way!" "Wakey wakey! Come on you guys! What about tonight?" She smiled brightly at them. An hour later they were having breakfast at a café. Hours later." Teasingly. "Good. Serena smiled and took off her coat and shoes and gave him a hug. Inside the door hung a beautiful blue silk dress and matching cashmere jacket. She could hardly wait until tonight. "It's gorgeous!" "Well that's done. "You have to help me find something to wear now. "Mmmmmm. Malachite tried to crawl away but she grabbed his foot." She told him about the day she'd had. He was already waiting there for her.266 Chance Encounters One by one they groaned and looked at her with bloodshot eyes." Darien followed her in smiling and watched as she opened up the wardrobe and gasped. "Hang on while we get ready. "What about sightseeing? Shopping?" Mina perked up at the word. They took the Metro all over the city. Serena quickly walked back to the apartment. he went to move her out of the room. Serena barely noticed the sights. It was fun to hang out with them again. Serena ran her fingers over it. Serena pulled him with her into the bedroom. she dropped everyone off at their studio so they could get ready for the festivities. She was focussed on the fast approaching evening. How was you day?" Darien kissed her hair. she and Darien were planning to get dressed and have dinner together before the performance. They decided to spend the day hopping from attraction to attraction. He . We got all the bugs out." Slowly they got up and got ready.
this is too much!" He smiled and gently pulled her over to the table. The table was lit with a large candelabra. "Darien. The warm light made the gilded dishes gleam and the crystal glasses sparkle." Darien led her out to the dining room. "It's never too much. Serena. At six they decided it was time they got dressed. Darien shrugged. Then sat down in the opposite chair. Darien brought out dish after dish and they leisurely enjoyed the meal. They took a long shower and then reluctantly got out to get dressed. He stood back. I guess not. chèrie.. Next he kissed her neck and put on the necklace.267 Chance Encounters knew that she wasn't." He took the box from her hand and placed it on the vanity. Serena gasped again. . "Darien. "it's time for dinner. He thought that he knew her measurements. he nibbled her ears and put on the earrings. "Done. But that wasn't what caught her interest." The jewels were breathtaking. It only left them with three hours to get ready and knowing what it was like to get dressed together. It was beautiful. Inside were sapphire and diamond earrings and matching necklace. Darien dried her off and helped Serena put on the dress. Still I looked great on her. "Now that's all sorted. The shimmering fabric fit her like a second skin though it did pull a bit tight on her breasts." He kissed her hand.. She held up her arms as he slowly slid it down her body." Serena looked at him open mouthed. The curtains were pulled back so that the city looked as if it was at their feet. it probably wouldn't be enough time. Serena immediately started digging through her jewellery box. "Wait! I have to find accessories for it now!" She ducked under his arm and headed back into the room. helping her into the chair he pulled out for her. He came up behind her and held a velvet box in front of her face and opened it.
The past few years flashed through his mind. her eyes when he gave her the ring. Sere. She slipped on her shoes and walked to the door and opened it. Darien's eyes twinkled happily. "Nice. "You look very happy. His other hand ran over her bare shoulders and down her arm to hold her hand. she was very happy. She pulled his towel off and dressed him like he did for her. She was so incredible. He sank into the kiss. "Yeah." He looked around that apartment and wandered to the window. Darien smiled. Serena nodded and steadied herself. She shivered and wondered if it would be that bad if they missed the concert. Her parents smiled. There was a knock at the door. chèrie?" He put his cufflinks on quickly and sat on the bed to put on his shoes. Sometime later." Serena smiled. "Can you answer that. they were both fully dressed and completely aroused. "What are you doing here?" Smiling she led them into the living room. "Hello dear!" They walked in. he kissed he nape of her neck. He remembered how she looked the first time he saw her. . very nice. "We're here for your boyfriend's concert! You didn't think that we'd miss that did you?" Dave grinned happily and gave her another hug. They were both trembling when he pulled back. Serena picked up his tux and shirt and brought it to the bed. Done. the way she took care of herself and Jadeite that night at the house. She opened her eyes and looked at him." She ran her hands down her side smoothing the fine fabric that had been steadily climbing under Darien's hands. "Mom! Dad! Dave!" She stood stunned for a moment then gave them a hug and kissed their cheeks in true Parisian style. Darien gently caressed her cheek and kissed her.268 Chance Encounters Serena's eyes were closed as he dressed her.
Darien..but." .." He smiled gently. He waved at everyone in the living room. She smiled up at him. chèrie?" He smiled innocently.. "Well here they are." Serena went to make some coffee leaving everyone to talk. Darien walked out of the bedroom in his tux.I. "Hi everyone!" He casually put his arm around her waist. "You look magnificent dear!" She pulled her husband in to look around with her.. "We can't now. There was another knock on the door. Now Serena was getting suspicious." She looked at Serena.." Serena answered that one too." Eyes wide.. looking as majestic as ever... This time it was Darien's parents. "Is something wrong?" The grin on his face told her that he definitely had something up his sleeve. "Thanks mom. "Care to explain?" "You always said that you wanted everyone that you loved with you when you got married.. There was another knock at the door.. "Make yourselves at home everyone. "I like this. "Darien. "Yes." Serena stammered. "Now? How?" Great! She was so flustered she was rhyming. "Oui.269 Chance Encounters Her mom looked around and nodded approvingly. "M.. She quickly ducked back into the kitchen. Before she could shut the door the gang arrived and joined their group..we. Serena stuck her head around the corner and watched as Jadeite answered and led a priest into the room. Serena looked at him..married?" He nodded. "Darien! Could you come out here?" Somehow she knew he was behind this.. Well that answered her last question.. hugs and kisses again." "But." She looked around at everyone's smiling faces.my dress.
" Everyone cheered at the grinning couple. He kissed her again. they had roughly forty five minutes to get to the site." Heart pounding she hugged him. Darien waited until the noise died down a bit. They arrived just in time. She was amazed at how calm he looked. Reluctantly he pulled back. Smiling he raised the microphone to his lips. Her turn! Serena turned to the priest and carefully repeated the words. Serena looked up at Darien smiling. Grinning happily they turned to the group and the priest announced." She realized he was right. "Oh and just to warn you wonderful ladies who are planning to give me articles of clothing and keys and such after the show. They had made it through just about everything imaginable to be here together. "Bonsoir Paris!" He smiled at the screaming audience. "I can't hear you!" He held it out again to the answering din. Everyone took their front row seats while Serena stood off to the side of the stage." He held her to him so every inch of her was pressed against him. Serena. unfortunately. Serena was trembling as she looked at Darien. They were finally married! "We're married. They exchanged rings then kissed. He held up his hand and took a microphone from one of the stagehands." He wiggled his eyebrows. "Let's show the world how to do it right!" He went to hand the microphone back to the stagehand but stopped. Serena!" He grinned back. This was the happiest moment in his life. Darien ran past the waiting orchestra and stood centre stage. "Let's do it!" They positioned themselves in front of the windows so that the glowing city was a backdrop. He repeated the vows and looked at Serena. The audience applauded and cheered. The priest started reading. "Be prepared to answer to my wife!" He pulled a blushing . "Je vous présente Monsieur et Madame le Conte. "There is nothing holding us back now. "Are you ready for the biggest party in the world?" He held the mike out for the screams and brought it back to his lips. "Alright.270 Chance Encounters "You've made me wait long enough. "It's concert time!" They would have celebrated a bit more but.
Serena had never seen such a huge crowd be so quiet for so long. The pyrotechnics lasted thirty minutes and held everyone in silent awe. It must have taken forever to get the music. lights and lasers synchronized. The effect was dazzling. "You said I could have it after new years! It's after New Years now!" She decided to tease him a bit more. It was an incredible performance. "Everyone say hello!" Serena waved at the screaming audience.271 Chance Encounters Serena onstage. Now she knew why Darien looked so tired after work. "Yup. listening to the beautiful music evoked by the touch of his fingers. The music was highlighted by a spectacular light show. They all turned from the stage to the Eiffel Tower. As Darien stuck the last chord the fireworks went off simultaneously." He looked around." He kissed her tenderly." . The effect was stunning. She felt an enormous surge of pride as she gazed at him. "You said it. There was a deafening cheer from everyone. "Enjoy the performance and happy new year!" Serena scurried back to her spot off stage and watched her husband start to play. Serena walked out to Darien and they stood holding each other as they watched. I didn't. "You have it with you?" Darien couldn't see any boxes or anything that resembled a gift." "Happy new year. She leaned back and looked at Darien. "I suppose you want your present now?" She grinned at him." She smiled at him but didn't move. Darien. The two hours flew by. Serena. "Come on!" He hopped up and down like a little boy. The fireworks were set off in such a way that it looked as though the tower itself was being launched into the new millennium. "I didn't say when after New Years though. The display lit up the night sky with a golden light. "Happy new year.
. Serena nodded. "Are you feeling alright? Have you been sick? I'm sorry I was so busy I. This seemed like the best way..." "Until we get home?" "No.I'm going to be. Gently she took his hand and guided it to her stomach.really?" Darien was so excited he couldn't finish his sentences." She grinned at his puzzled look. This was the best gift she could have given him. It made sense now. "Is that why the dress is tight here?" He lightly touched the neck of the dress. He looked at her in amazement and pulled her down beside him on the piano bench. "I've never felt better. Darien's eyes widened when she pressed lightly. There was a small. "Really." They kissed until the fireworks died out and the sky went dark. He knew that he knew all of her measurements! Darien put his hand on her stomach again feeling a rush of guilt for not noticing. It was the best way Serena could think of starting the New Year. "We're having a. He really had no clue. . "Really?" Beaming. Why she was drinking water by the gallon instead of coffee. "I'm dying here!" Darien was so curious he was about to burst. But it was definitely there.272 Chance Encounters "Serena!" he pouted. He couldn't believe he hadn't noticed anything before. She'd been dying to tell him ever since she found out a couple of weeks ago." "I love you Serena. More like six and a half months.. Darien pulled her into his arms and held her to him. almost imperceptible bump. I love you Darien. but had been waiting for the perfect way to tell him.." Serena knew he would be happy. "Well you're going to have to wait." Serena put her fingers over his mouth.. he explored some more.
273 Chance Encounters The End ~~~~~'~~~~@ .