Chain Letters

Chapter 7

After a few minutes that took for Darren to say goodbye to Lyla; the two of you went back to the car to come back to Lyla's house. Even though Darren was feeling really bad, he drove to Lyla's house since you couldn't drive. The way to her house was quiet and no one of you talked. Darren didn't mention you what that promise was about and you didn't want to ask him because probably he wanted to keep it as a secret, as something private. The truth was that you were really intrigued to know what that promise was about; you didn't know if it was something good or bad, something nice or not; you didn't know if you should feel happy, relaxed, nervous or scared. Darren has told you that promise would change a lot of things and that freaked you out a little, because you thought that now you were fine, despite all the bad moments and situations that had happened. You honestly didn't want thing between the two of you to change; because even Darren said he didn't know if things would work out. And he and Lyla had talked about you, and you wondered what about. This was an odd situation and you couldn't stop thinking about all you heard; but you couldn't ask anything to Darren, because you knew Darren had a lot of things in his mind after all the things that had happened, all the things that were happening and all the things that would happen from now on. Actually, if you stopped to think about it, you were being a little selfish because all you wanted to know was about that promise and all that Darren and Lyla had talked about you, while Darren was going through a lot of shit that recently happened. That was bad; Darren was the one who needed you, who needed your help and who needed you to stand by him; this wasn't about you and you desire to know all about the promise, this was about Darren and his feelings right now. You looked at Darren slyly, he was better than last night, but he still had a very heartbroken and woebegone look; even though he wanted to pretend he was alright. But you knew he wasn't fine, that look of how he was really feeling and what he was feign to feel made you remind to yourself years ago. He didn't want to show you how he was really feeling, not because he wanted to lie to you; but because he didn't want you to worry; and that was the difference between him and you years ago. Darren was deep in his thoughts, focused on the road but you knew he was thinking about something else. You kept staring at him fixedly and suddenly Darren turned his gaze to look at you and he smiled slightly, a soft and warm smile but with a hint of gloom; you smiled back at him and then he returned his gaze to the road. After several minutes, you finally arrived to Lyla's house and you didn't even exchange a word. Darren stopped the car in front of her house, but he didn't get out of the car. He stayed sitting there in driver seat, looking through the windshield, silent and frowning with the same bereaved look. You also stayed there, sitting in the passenger seat, looking to nowhere, silent and biting your lower lip because this was a little uncomfortable situation. Probably Darren was trying to control himself and trying to feel any better to not worry his family. Darren suddenly rested his forehead in the steering wheel, looking down, and sighed. You looked at him, still in silence and slowly you rubbed his back. His body was tense and he didn't look up to you. Darren's body started to shake almost imperceptible and you felt how he started to breathe faster. You thought he was starting to panic so you gently kissed the back of his head and hugged him, while he was still with his forehead resting in the steering wheel and looking down; with his hands steady on the steering wheel. You couldn't understand why Darren started to panic if he wasn't like that minutes ago. Yes, he was very sad but he wasn't panicking. You didn't even know why he was panicking instead crying, that would be more normal judging by the situation. Maybe because of something he was thinking while he was driving, but you didn't know what the reason was and you didn't want to push him to tell you what was going on.

"I'm so freaked out to get into the house now. Because of everything." Darren finally said, his voice trembling almost in a whisper. You only looked at him in silence, still rubbing his back gently. "Because everything in that house is gonna remind me of her, of all the moments we had together, all of our memories. And I don't know if I'm gonna be able to get there without feeling down. And because of Sami. If I get to meet her there now, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to say a fucking word. What would Sami think of me? I'm the damn uncle who killed her mommy and who didn't say a shit about it all these days since I woke up because I didn't know a damn shit about all of this. She'd be thinking I'm careless and an ass for not being with her, for not telling her anything at all. And I don't want Sami to think that about me, because she's Sami and I love her so much. You have no idea how this makes me feel, it's like falling apart from one of the people I love with all my heart. And picturing the idea that maybe she thinks I killed Lyla... Oh dammit, that kills me, is hell." Darren said exasperated, this time his entire body was trembling besides his voice.

You didn't want to interrupt him so you just kept silent looking at him, feeling how your heart was heartbroken because finally he was saying out loud all he was feeling within his heart and mind all this time. Darren was still resting his forehead in the steering wheel but this time he put his hands in his head, tugging his curls softly in exasperation. You heard how he was weeping in silence but you couldn't tell if it was because of sadness, exasperation, anger, frustration or fear; maybe it was a mix of it all. He stayed in silence for a while, inhaling and exhaling fast, trying to regain control of himself. You only kept rubbing his back with all the love and softness you could give him. You really didn't want Darren to feel this way, because frankly it wasn't his fault and he couldn't see it in that way. He kept blaming himself of everything and you didn't know what else to do to change his mind. But on the other hand, you knew how he was feeling; how he was thinking everything was his fault; because that was what you felt all your life until recently when you met your mother after a lot of years without seeing each other. And Darren didn't deserve to feel that way because he was the most soft-hearted person you've ever met. And you knew that the most probably was that Sami wasn't thinking so about her uncle. But you first needed Darren to vent all his feelings because you knew that if he didn't say it all now, he'd never say it loud again and he'd keep it for himself; and because maybe that way he'd feel better. So you just stayed silent, but staring at him fixedly and intently. Darren finally took a breath.

"And I'm so lost like never before. I don't have a damn idea of what is gonna happen and that freaks me out like hell. Sami isn't alone; I know she has all of us. But we can't...we can't take care of her like she needs and more right now. And everything sucks. She is so little, why is this happening to her? She doesn't fucking deserve all of this. And I feel so damn powerless because everything is out of control; because everything is a mess and I can't see how this is gonna work out. And the days keep passing by and we don't have any idea of what to do with Sami, with all of this. Days keep passing by and we keep pretending that nothing is going on, because we all are powerless, because no one of us has the answer of what to do. We're just fooling around because no one of us knows what to do, because no one of us can take the responsibility of her. And I need to do it, after all this was my fault, but I can't because I'm always so fucking busy and that sucks. And I don't know what to do. I'm so fucking lost. I can't take this, I can't help it, I can't do this. I'm trying to figure out something to do, but I can't find it out. I feel useless, powerless, a dumbass and a dimwit. I'm a complete dick. How long is this gonna take me to find out what to do? How damn long?" Darren almost yelled in anger, banging his own head on the steering wheel while you widened your eyes and tried to stop him hurting himself.

You finally grabbed his cheeks to make him look at you and as you did this, Darren buried his face on your chest and wrapped his arms around your waist, starting to mourn inconsolably. You got surprised by his reaction for a few seconds and then you held him tight, caressing his hair softly trying to calm him down. Seeing him being so gloomy and wretched broke your heart and you also wanted to start crying, but you contained yourself because he needed you to be strong and you to help him through all of this. You gulped and held back your tears to grab his cheeks again and look into his eyes. Darren was trying to avoid your look because apparently he didn't want you to see him this weak and mournful; but you lifted his chin so now his eyes met yours. You kissed his temple tenderly and caressed his cheek as Darren frowned as a result of the effort he was making not to mourn even harder, looking down again. You lifted his chin again and he got lost into your eyes, shedding tears.

"Please, don't stop looking at me, Dar." You said consolingly and smoothly while Darren nodded. "I won't tell you not to feel bad, because feeling bad at this moment is completely normal and that person who tells you that you're a dick for feeling this way, is a damn jerk, because obviously can't understand what are you going through right now. But I'm gonna tell you that even though it ain't easy, you're gonna get over it, you're gonna find out the answer and you're not a dick only because you don't know what to do right now. It's normal to feel lost now, because noticeably you weren't expecting none of this, because you never pictured that something like that was going to happen to you or Sami. When in the midst of our lives, something unexpected comes to happen, that thing destabilizes us making us feel completely lost and powerless; and that's the moment when everything turns into a complete mess that is beyond our control. You're not a dick for feeling that way, I'd say the opposite; that you're a kind-hearted person who really cares about that one you love, otherwise you wouldn't feel lost and frustrated, not knowing what to do." Darren shook his head and looked away again, but you gently forced him to look into your eyes again. "Heartedly, is like that. If you can't find out the answer of what to do from now on, we'll find it together; you'll find out the answer with me and your family, but don't carry all of this upon your shoulders by your own. Because none of this is your fault, you need to understand this, Darren. Again none of this is your fault, it was a terrible accident caused by some assholes; not by you but those thieves. Sami is not gonna think that Lyla's death was your fault, she's not gonna think that you don't care about her. She knew your situation as well, and I can assure that she's actually very happy to see that her uncle is still here with her. So don't draw your own fast conclusions, because you actually don't know it. She's gonna understand why you didn't talk to her yet; she might be very young, Dar, but she isn't stupid, she's the smartest little girl I've ever met, I can assure it. She's gonna understand." You said fondly, caressing his cheek while Darren was still looking into your eyes, chilling out. "If I could say something, it'd be that you don't have to rush making a decision as important as this. I know that we'll figure out something. I know, it's gonna be hard and rough at first, and we have to consider Sami's desires also. This is something that has to be talked and thought, and rushing things will lead us to make a wrong decision. Whatever the decision is gonna be, I know it's gonna be the best you could do, and it's gonna work out because we're gonna make it work. Don't push yourself, don't carry all this for yourself; you have a family, a wonderful and supportive one; and all of you, together, are gonna make it through. Don't close yourself, it will get you nowhere; let other people to help you, after all they're feeling something similar to what you're feeling. So remember, it's not your fault and you're gonna make it with a help from your family and if you let me, from me. But don't think you're alone on this, we all are with you and we all think you're an extraordinary person. Remember it, Dar." You said fondly, looking deeply into his eyes as you caressed his cheek tenderly while Darren closed his eyes, shedding a few last tears.

"Thanks and sorry. Thanks for being with me in this rough moment for me, for being so understanding, for saying me all that I need to hear, for being so caring, warm and marvellous, for stand by me even though I'm a mess acting like a lost child, for making me see that nothing is hopeless and that I have someone to lean on. And sorry because you have to stand my childish behaviour, because only one thing happened to me let me so down and you, you that had been through things like this and even worse, you remain strong and I shouldn't be feeling so down only because one bad thing. Sorry because I couldn't fully understand you before, because I didn't do my best to make you feel in the way you're making me feel now. Now I have a little clue how you felt all your life and sorry because I haven't tried enough to make you feel as loved as you're making me feel now. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for everything you gave me. Because you gave me all that anyone gave me before. Yes, I had my family, but this is different, because you don't have even to worry about this, but you care; and you truly care. I...I'd be so lost right now if I didn't have you here!" Darren sobbed again, holding you tight and burying his head on your shoulder.

"Dar, you always made me feel loved. You have no idea all you did for me; you changed my life for good, literally talking. You made me be the person I am now, you showed me the point of life. So don't say sorry. You don't have to be sorry because there's nothing to apologize for. The opposite, I'm so thankful for all you did, because all you did means a lot to me. And I'm the one who's grateful to stand by you in this moment, and you can be sure I'm gonna stand by you always because you are very important to me and all I want is to see you happy. I don't care about anything else." You said heartily and fondly, kissing Darren's forehead. "Once you told me that you got my back, now I'm telling you, I got your back."

You lifted Darren's chin and you kissed his lips tenderly and softly. Then he looked at you and he outlined a smile while you wiped away his tears, smiling back at him. You were feeling good because you were making feel any better the man you loved. Now, more than ever, you wanted to give him back all the love he gave you. You wanted to give him back all the encouragement he gave you to move on; that was the most important for you. And above all, you wanted to let him now that as long as you were next to him, you won't let him feel down and alone. Yes, it was a rough situation and you also didn't know what would happen; but you didn't lie to him when you said that it was going to be a thing that only together would be possible to make it work. And you were there, to help him in whatever the decision would be and whatever it'd take to make it through.

You finally went out of the car after few minutes hugging each other. Before getting into the house, Darren stood in front of the door and he started to breathe fast. You held his and when he looked at you, you smiled at him encouragingly. Then Darren took a deep breath and opened the door. As soon as he opened the door and you both got into the house, Sami came running to Darren and she hugged him tight by his legs. Darren kneeled and hugged Sami very tight. He couldn't help it any longer, he started to shed tears while caressing her hair and kissing her head repeatedly. You stood there, watching at them both and you tried to contain all your feelings to not cry with emotion. You nodded with a smile automatically because you knew how much that hug meant to Darren and how much he needed it.

"Sami...Sami..." Darren sobbed with choked voice, trying to control himself. "I'm sorry Sami, I'm so sorry."

"Why are you crying, uncle Dare? And why are you saying sorry?" Sami said sweetly.

You didn't know if you should stay there or leave. Maybe the best idea would be to leave so that way Darren and Sami would have a little time alone to talk and show their love. But when you were about to leave, Sami grabbed your hand.

"You shouldn't cry, uncle Dare. I think that auntie Ari should tell you the story about the little princess and the pink rabbit." Sami said smiling lovingly.

"What...what story?" Darren wiped away his tears, looking at you confused and frowning as you blushed.

"A story...uhm that once I told Sami." You said shyly as Sami smiled widely, nodding.

"What's it about?" Darren asked more calmed know as he sat on the floor, cross legged still holding Sami. Sami tugged your pants to tell you to sit on the floor also and you did so.

"Tell him the story, auntie. I think he should know it, then he's not gonna cry anymore." Sami said convincingly.

"Yeah, tell me the story." Darren said intrigued and he stopped crying, caressing Sami's hair.

You blushed again because it was a story that popped on your mind that day, but both Sami and Darren were expecting you to tell that story. You tried to remember it, because this was the least you could do for them both; even though it was a little embarrassing for you. But you knew that story helped Sami somehow and telling the story again would make feel Sami well again and maybe it could make feel Darren well too, although it was a fantasy story for a child. You started to tell the story again, starting with the little princess crying alone because the queen went to the Heaven Kingdom and how the pink rabbit came where the princess was to tell her that the fact the queen was in the Heaven Kingdom while the princess was in the Earth Kingdom didn't mean that they were fall apart, that it didn't mean that the little princess was alone, because she'd always have a friend in the Earth Kingdom to hold her hand and stand by her until the day she joins the Heaven Kingdom once she lived all she had to live and that meanwhile the queen was going to watch over the little princess from the Heaven Kingdom. You emphasized the part where the rabbit told the princess that she would never be alone because she was loved and the rabbit would be always stand by her and the queen would always watch over her, wanting the little princess to be happy until their reunion. When you finished the story, Sami was smiling widely and happily and Darren was looking at you with a tearful look. But it wasn't a sad tearful look, it was a poignant tearful look. He was looking into your eyes with a fondly smile, he was looking at you lovingly, gratefully, soulfully, thrilled and touched. He muttered thanks, moving his lips but soundlessly while you nodded smiling at him and looking down, trying to hold back your tears. You didn't know why you were feeling this moved, but you couldn't help it; this was a situation that meant a lot to you, because you were feeling that finally you were making someone happy, because you finally realized that you actually mean a lot to some people; it was a feeling you never felt before, and it was a good feeling. You bit your lips to contain your crying and Darren grabbed your hand as soon as he realized you were trying to do so.

"Isn't it a good story, uncle? That's why you don't have to cry. Because you'll always have a rabbit to be next to you and the queen is gonna watch over you. I say that my auntie Ari is my rabbit. I know she's gonna stand by me whenever I feel sad, and that's what she did all this time. Auntie Ari could be your rabbit too, but we should add the prince, because I'm the princess and my mommy is the queen." Sami said still smiling and Darren widened his eyes as soon as he heard all Sami said how she understood the point of the story so fast.

"Yes. It's the most wonderful, fabulous and lovely story I've ever heard." Darren said looking at Sami tenderly and the he looked at you with a twinkle in his eyes. "Would you be my rabbit too?" Darren said sweetly with a choked voice, thrilled and looking deeply into your eyes, his look tearful.

"Yes, I would." You smiled at him, with a tearful voice very touched.

"Auntie Ari is the best rabbit, uncle. You won't regret." Sami said, hugging you and you again made a hard effort to hold back your tears.

"I know I won't. She always had been the best rabbit, but every day the rabbit surprises me with her adorableness and charm." Darren said, squeezing your hand still looking at you with twinkly eyes while you turned your face, so neither Sami nor Darren would see you shedding some tears. Darren realized that you were shedding some tears and he leaned to whisper something in your ear. "You're wonderful."

After a few hours you shared with Sami and Darren, you decided to take Sami to bed because it was already very late. You stayed with her in her bedroom until she fell asleep. Then, quietly and trying to not make any noise, both of you left her bedroom. Right after Darren closed the door, he turned around to wrap his arms around you and to rest his forehead on yours, nuzzling his nose with yours, with a sweet smile on his face and staring at your eyes.

"That you told Sami...that was the most precious and unselfish thing that someone could have ever done." Darren whispered in front your lips, still moved. "That was the most touching story I've ever heard. And you did it without expecting anything in return. It's overwhelming and unbelievable how your story helped Sami to move on, to let her know that she isn't alone and that she needs to be happy because there are still a lot of things to be happy about. You're an extraordinarily amazing and charming person. You did all I probably I couldn't have done, even though you didn't have to. You have no idea how thrilled I'm feeling right now and how happy I am to be here with you, like this. I thought I couldn't love you more than I already did, but once again you proved me that I was wrong. You have that something that makes me fall deeply in love with you; it's almost insane all I feel for you, but I do know that this is the best feeling I've ever had. I can frankly say that I'm madly in love with you." Darren said with choked voice as he kissed you softly but intensely, still wrapping his arms around your waist.

You felt as if your legs suddenly turned into jelly because of all the emotion you were feeling. You shed some tears during the kiss, but those were tears of joy and thrill. You never thought something like this would ever happen to you, in the shitty life you were living about a year ago. But this was actually real, and you knew it. All you had to live in your past didn't matter because all that mattered was what you were living now, because that was stronger than anything you've lived. You wanted to say a lot of things to Darren, you wanted to let him know all this meant to you, how he changed for better every single thing of your life, and how you were being really happy. But you couldn't utter a word because you had a lump in the throat and because suddenly Chuck popped into the corridor.

"Here you are guys." Chuck said a little agitated. "I've been looking for you around the entire house. Darren, we're all in the dining room, we're gonna talk about what we're gonna do with Sami. We need you there."

"Uhm. Yes, sure. Just...give a minute." Darren said, getting a little edgy.

"Of course. See you there, bro." Chuck said nodding and he left.

Darren started to squeeze his own hands; obviously because of the nerves he was feeling right now. You slowly grabbed his hands with both of your hands, looking at him.

"Chill out, Darren. It's gonna be fine, okay? You were just going to talk and you're gonna try to make the best decision." You said reassuringly and Darren nodded.

"Yes. Yes, that's right. It's gonna be fine, sooner or later we would have to talk about this. And it's a good moment." Darren said, trying to convince himself.

"Yes, that's right." You said smiling kindly at him and he tried to smile back at you despite the fact he was freaking out.

Darren turned away and started to walk towards the dining room and you stood there, thinking that maybe you could wait for him in the bedroom. Suddenly Darren turned around again to look at you.

"C'mon, let's go." Darren said frowning, still nervous.

"I think the best is gonna be if I don't interrupt you. You know, it's a family decision." You said a little uncomfortable. You weren't expecting to go; you thought it wouldn't be appropriate.

"What? No, no, no." Darren shook his head and he approached you, grabbing your hand. "Please, come with me. You're part of the family, right? Yes you are. Please, come with me." Darren said pleading.

"Darren...I don't know. I don't want to butt in, it's something private. Really...I don't want to be meddler." You said uncomfortable not only because it wasn't your business but because Darren was like begging you.

"You won't be meddler." Darren said frowning. "After all you did for Sami, you deserve to be there. You're not any random person, you're my girlfriend. You have the same rights to be there as any member of our family would have, and more considering what you mean to Sami. And also I need my girlfriend with me out there. Please, come." Darren said looking into your eyes, still holding your hand.

"Fine, I'll go. But what if..." You started to say nervous and insecure.

"None of that what if. They wouldn't mind to have you there. I told you, you're part of the family." Darren said firmly and you nodded, looking down.

Darren pecked your lips before leading you to the dining room. When you got into the room, you automatically regretted. You were feeling like a totally meddler. Cerine, Bill, Chuck and Grant were looking at both of you, in silence. You knew you shouldn't be there, but always Darren seemed to convince you somehow. You looked down, trying to avoid their gaze and Darren had to lead you to the table where both of you sat. Once you sat down, next to Darren, you looked at your lap, moving your hands nervously and interlocking your fingers under the table while Darren placed a hand on your thigh and squeezed it softly.

"Hi guys. We were waiting for you." Bill said, smiling warmly at both of you. The fact he spoke to you two, made you feel a little better.

"Yeah, sorry about that. We didn't know we were going to have this talk now." Darren said, looking at his dad.

"Yes, well honey. It was time; soon we all have to leave NYC. You..." Cerine said kindly, looking at Darren and Grant. "To go to LA; and us to go to San Francisco."

"Yeah, right." Darren said nodding and frowning, this time looking down. "What's gonna happen to Sami? I mean... she's in school now and well, she has a life here. It'd be really hard for her to lose the life she's having here beside her recent loss. We cannot do that to her, we cannot take her away from here." Darren said concerned and nervous.

"Yes honey. But she cannot stay here any longer. No one of us can stay in NYC. Maybe it's gonna be good for Sami to restart everything in a different place." Cerine said, still kindly.

"Or maybe not. She's a little girl; she cannot be separated from everything familiar, from all she has here. It could be the worst thing we could do to her in this moment." Darren said frowning and starting to lose control.

"Darren, we have no options. Yes, maybe if Sami stays here would be the best, at least until she finishes this school year. But again, none of us can stay here." Bill said firmly.

"I could stay here, actually." Grant said "But I wouldn't have the time to be with her full time. And when I get work in LA, I'd have to travel and that would complicate things, because Sami would have school, because she would have to travel all the time. I don't know if it'd be a good idea if she stays with me." Grant said frowning and biting his lower lip.

"I couldn't stay here. You know we have to travel a lot with the band, and the rehearsals." Chuck said a bit sad.

"Exactly. None of us would have the time to be with Sami full time as she would need. That's why your dad and I were thinking to take her to San Francisco with us." Cerine said.

"I can't believe this shit." Darren said a little upset and in disbelief. "Has anyone considered what Sami would like?" Darren asked sharply and no one answered. "That's what I thought." Darren said, crossing his arms and raising an eyebrow.

"So why do you not stay here, Darren?" Chuck said, upset because of Darren's reaction and stubbornness. "Yeah right. Work. You have to work in LA. Just like all of us. Darren, we all would like to consider what Sami would really like, but if she wants to stay here, no one of us would be able to do it. So we have to think about something we actually can do. It's not because we don't care about what she feels or what she thinks. It's the opposite. It's because we care about her why we think the best idea is if she goes with mom and dad to San Francisco, only for the fact that no one can stay here."

"Oh dammit, that's crap." Darren said upset. "Do you have any idea of how bad Sami would feel? Try to picture it, for god sake! She has already been through a lot of things that a little girl like her shouldn't have experienced and now you all want to add this. She's gonna go down and she shouldn't feel like that ever. Try to fucking understand it." Darren said, raising his voice and now losing his complete control.

"No, you try to understand, Darren." Chuck said, also raising his voice as everybody else looked down. "You're the most stubborn guy ever, dammit. If no one can stay here… What's your solution for the problem? Tell me. I'm waiting for your answer. You know what? You don't have an answer, because there's no answer. Because inside you know that's not possible."

Darren looked away, tensing his jaw because of the anger and frustration he was feeling. Chuck was right, if no one could stay here with Sami, there would be no options for them and Darren was being a little stubborn about all of this because he couldn't see their point of view. But at some point Darren was right also, because probably it wouldn't be the best for Sami if she would have to move to San Francisco and start there a complete new life away from her friends and actual school; everything would be a huge and sudden change and maybe she wouldn't be able to handle it; at least not now when her loss was very recent. You actually had a solution, but you didn't want to say it loud because it'd be very inappropriate since this wasn't up to you and you couldn't take part of this decision. But the Criss brothers were starting to argue and fuss and for what you knew about them, neither of them would give up on what they were thinking and that would end up in a bad way. Maybe you could only suggest your idea, but you weren't sure and maybe they'd think you were a meddlesome who's getting into something that wasn't your business; but on the other hand it could help to calm down the tense situation. You closed your eyes and sighed before making a decision that maybe would screw up all you got until now for being considered an intrusive.

"Sami could stay with me." You almost whispered shyly and blushing hard.

You were insecure of what you were saying; not insecure because you didn't want Sami to stay with you, you wanted that actually; but insecure because you didn't know how the Criss family would take it. Everybody in the room looked at you stunned and completely surprised; not only because you finally talked but because what you just said. You blushed even more and you wanted to run away because you couldn't tell what they were thinking right now. Maybe it was a bad idea saying it. Darren next to you raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes, completely in shock. The rest of the Criss family was looking at you still astonished and frowning slightly, just like Grant. Darren looked at his family intently and then he looked at you again, but you were looking at your lap again, trying to disappear from there. Then Darren grabbed your hand and he lifted your chin with his free hand.

"What did you say, boo?" Darren asked gently and carefully while you heart started to beat at full speed. You were officially freaking out.

"I…I said…what I meant…I don't want to seem…I…" You started to stutter and your entire body started to shake; you were feeling how your body temperature began to increase and you started to sweat because of your nervousness.

"Cool it." Darren said sweetly and soothingly, squeezing your hand.

"I shouldn't have said anything, sorry. I don't want to be a snoopyfreak. I'm sorry; I know this isn't my business." You said totally embarrassed and feeling really nosy. The Criss family was still looking at you very intently and fixedly.

"No, no, no. It's alright. I just want to know if what I heard was right. You almost whispered it. What did you say?" Darren asked again very gently.

"I said that Sami could stay with me. I live here, in NYC and it wouldn't be a problem for me. But I'm sorry; I know it was completely inappropriate." You said looking down and abashed of yourself while Darren looked away for a moment, frowning and resting his forehead on his hand and he looked at you again with a tearful look.

"Would you really do it?" Darren asked trying to control his choked voice and you just nodded shyly. "Right." Darren said with choked voice and a tearful look, resting his forehead on your shoulder and wrapping an arm around you.

"Sweetheart, you can't do it." Cerine said nicely and softly, looking at you.

"I know. It was completely inappropriate and I shouldn't be even here because I'm not part of the family. I shouldn't be this meddlesome. I'm so sorry." You said ashamed, looking down.

"No, it's not because of that. You're considered part of the family and your opinion is a legit as the opinion of everybody who's here. The point is that we don't want to bug you. It's a big responsibility and we don't want to get you in any kind of trouble." Cerine said kindly and sincerely.

"You know, you're a wonderful person for offering this. But my mom is right. We don't want to bug you, you'd been through a lot already and you don't have to take this responsibility." Darren said, looking up to you and resting his chin on your shoulder, still with that tearful look.

"It wouldn't be a bug for me. I have a stable work that matches the time when she goes to school. I don't have to travel and after work I'd have free time to take care about Sami, full time. And well, maybe I could help her with all she's going through since I know how it feels not have neither of your parents. But I don't want to seem a meddlesome; I understand if you think so, though." You said shyly, still looking down. You couldn't believe you were saying it all. Darren softly kissed your shoulder and rested his forehead there again; hugging you tighter.

"You aren't a meddlesome; no one of us thinks so. You're being very kind and nice, but we don't want to force you to do something like this only because we cannot agree what to do." Bill said nicely.

"Mr. Criss, I don't feel forced. Somehow I feel fond of Sami and I'd love if she stays with me. But I won't don't it if you think this is insane; and you're in all your rights to think that." You answered politely, trying to stop being ashamed.

"Please call me Bill." Bill said politely, smiling and you nodded. "I don't think this is insane. I only think that you don't have to do it if you really don't feel ready to assume such a big responsibility."

"I think I won't have any problem with that. I think I could give Sami all that was taken away from me in my childhood and I think I'd know how show her that even though she has lost the most valuable thing she had, everything can be good." You said wholeheartedly.

"You're an amazing girl." Chuck said thrilled, looking at you and nodding while you shook your head. "I trust you and I think she'd be better with you than with any of us. You have my approval."

"Mine too. Sami is gonna be fine with you, she is kind in love with you, after all you're her pink rabbit." Grant said smiling and everybody else smiled as well.

"If you're really sure of this and you're not doing this because you feel forced; then you have my approval too. I saw the way you're with her and it's as if you were her sister of a lifetime." Cerine said sweetly, looking at you touched.

"Make it four of us. Darren? What do you think?" Bill asked, looking at Darren who had his head buried on your shoulder. Darren only nodded. "So it's a decision. Sami can stay with you here as long as you want, we're not gonna force you to keep staying with her if you feel that things aren't working. Of course you don't have to worry about the expense and all that, we're gonna cover it all; and we promise to come here all the times we can. Anyway, we should ask Sami too, to know if she's okay with this."

"Yes, tomorrow morning we're gonna do it." Cerine said smiling and he looked sweetly at you. "Thank you, sweetheart. You know you can always have our help. I have no words to thank you, what you're doing is something extraordinary; considering Sami's feelings and trying to help her and all you already helped her. It's overwhelming." Cerine said thrilled and smiling at you.

"No please, you don't have to thank me. I'm doing this because I really want it and because Sami is like my little sister. I see a lot of her of me and hopefully she wouldn't go through the same I had to." You said smiling slightly.

You talked for a while and discussed the legal issues to get custody of Sami. You were feeling weird, really weird. You really were doing this because you wanted; because you really loved Sami and you thought that Sami being in NYC would be the best for her at least until the end of the year. But you were feeling weird because you couldn't believe that they trusted you the way they were doing; you couldn't believe that actually they considered you part of the family. They couldn't stop asking you if you were sure about this, that you really didn't have to do it, that they were very grateful, that if you come to realize that you couldn't do it you shouldn't doubt to tell them, that they were going to take care about all the expenses and things like that. It seemed that your head was spinning, but you actually thought you could do it; you knew how to help Sami and how to make her feel that she could still being happy even though all the bad things that happened to her. This was all new for you, you didn't know if things would work out but you were going to do your best because Sami deserved to be happy again, because she was very little and because you could teach her all the things that took you years to learn. Finally everybody decided it was time to go to bed; but you and Darren, who didn't utter a word all the time, stayed there. When the two of you were completely alone, Darren finally looked up to you.

"What you're doing…" Darren said and he couldn't say anymore because suddenly he started to shed some tears and he looked away. You leaned to caress his cheek sweetly.

"What I'm doing is because I really don't want Sami to go through all I had to and I know I can help her with that. I'm not doing this because I want to seem the nice girl who's trying to please your family and make them like me. Of course I'd like them to like me, as I like them. But this is about Sami and how she reminds me to me and how I want her to not experience all I did." You said sincerely and wiped away Darren's tears.

"You manage to easily make me love you like hell. How could anyone not love you? How could you have been through all you had to live? How is that even possible? You should've never deserved all the bad moments you had to live. I look to you and I cannot understand how you did it, how you could overcome it, and how you could be that strong and warm-hearted, after all the shit you had to live. How did you do it? How?" Darren said looking deeply into your eyes with a tearful look.

"I didn't let the ghosts of my past to bring me down again. I learned that what really matters is to enjoy the good things of life, because those are the things that make you feel alive, that make you feel full. And it wasn't long ago that I learned that. And if you ask me, I could have never done it alone; fortunately I met a person who made me see this point of view about life, who made me see that everything worth it if you think you can do it. And fortunately I still have that person in my life and that is the person who gives me the strength to keep going, is the person who really makes me feel happy. Now I don't have to pretend that I'm happy, because now really I am, thanks to that person. And fortunately I have that person in front of me right now." You smiled fondly at him and pecked his lips. "I owe this all to you, Darren. Maybe you can't picture all you've done; but I can tell you you've done more than all the people I knew in my life have done for me. And I'll be eternally grateful for that; but more than being grateful, all I want is to give you at least a little all you've given me. And maybe I don't say it enough, but I truly love you, Dar." You finally said looking deep into his eyes, which were full of tears.

"I love you too, my mellylicious girl." Darren giggled and smiled at you, leaning to kiss you, this time the kiss was passionate and deep.

Those were the little things that made you love Darren more and more day by day.


SIX MONTHS LATER...

Your life had changed roundly in only six months, but it was good change. Sami was living in your apartment because it was the best for the two of you considering that your work and her school were near from your apartment. But you had a new apartment this time, a bigger one so that way Sami had her very own bedroom where all her toys and things were. You and Sami had decorated the new apartment together with things that the two of you had done together. Sami was delighted with the final result of the apartment; after all, once she said to you that she'd like to have an apartment like yours some time. You thought that living with Sami would be a little complicated because she wasn't going through a good moment and the most probably would be that she missed her old house where she used to live; but your thoughts were wrong. Sami was very open and she was pleased with the new style of life she was leading with you. Of course she had ups and downs, but almost the time she seemed to be happy. She was a very nice and cute girl and you got to know a whole lot about her: her interests, her personality, and her fears, the things she liked and hated her dreams, her goals, and her deepest thoughts about everything about life. You couldn't stop to get amazed by her smartness and humility. She had only six years old, but he seemed older judging by the way she thought about things on particular topics. She trusted you very much and you got to have a very strong bond. She always confessed to you her deepest thoughts, concerns and joys. She even told you that you were for her more than the pink rabbit you once told her or more than her aunt; she told you that for her you were like her stepmother and not like the evil stepmother from the Cinderella. The day she told you that you couldn't avoid shedding some tears because it was very touching for you. After all, all of this, since the first time you once received more than a year ago, changed your life; all of this was thoroughly new for you. Years ago you were just a ghost fooling around in a world that seemed that everything was gloom and cheerless; no one truly cared about you and you were just like an anonymous person for everybody; who never was loved and therefore couldn't love anyone. But now everything was different; now you had so many people who loved you and you loved as well. In matter of a year you've met incredible people like Darren, the person who you loved, and his whole family especially Chuck; Joey who became a good friend for you; April who was your best friend along with Matt; Grant who was always there to help you when he could; and Sami, who considered you as her stepmother. Sami was one of the most important people for you, in all the time you were with her you got to love her as if she was her stepchild as well and that was very weird. You never imagined having such a bond with someone like this, but it just happened. It was another unexpected thing in your life as all the things that happened to you in the last year. You were sure about one thing: life finally was making sense for you, finally you were finding out the good things of living life no matter all the terrible things you had to live in your past.

The year was ending and you were already in December. You couldn't believe how fast these six months had passed. In this six months you barely saw Darren; he only came to NYC four times and he didn't stay for more than two days. He was being very busy with work; going to the set, performing, with interviews, social events, solidarity events, working in a new StarKid musical, and writing new songs. But this month Darren was hired for a Broadway production and that meant that he would be in NYC for a month. Even though you knew he'd be busy with the rehearsals, the performing and the interviews; it was better than Darren being in LA. You didn't want to seem selfish, but it was very hard for you being so far away from Darren and barely seeing him; you needed him a lot, you missed him like hell, and you wanted to spend time with him like a normal couple. The long distance relationship that both of you had, was very difficult to handle for you; even though almost every day you texted, you called each other or you had video calls. It wasn't the same and you needed to feel Darren next to you although you were trying to make it work. You knew from the beginning that you'd never have a normal relationship with Darren since he was a worldwide known person. You knew that his life was very busy and accelerated, that he always had things to do; that he couldn't do normal and simple things like walking around in a public place, watch a movie in the movies, and go out for a coffee or dinner, or simple going shopping or something. He couldn't be in a public place without people coming around to get an autograph or picture or the paparazzi rounding around to make up stories or steal from him every single attempt to have a private life. You knew it because before meeting Darren you'd be one of those people coming to him to get an autograph; and now you knew more about Darren's situation because all the things he told you. At one point Darren didn't mind it because he was the nicest person you've ever met and he always said he loved his fans because they were one of the reasons he got to be who he was now; but on the other point he wanted to have that private life to enjoy without people who interfere. He hated the fact that all people were making up stories about he having a love affair with a celebrity who was only her friend; he hated the fact he had to be very careful about every single thing he did and that stressed out him. And your relationship with Darren wasn't public yet, no one knew about it; it wasn't because Darren didn't want people to know, it was because the two of you agreed to that. The main reason that neither of you wanted people to know actually was because your own decision; you were the one who didn't want people to know about it. Because you knew how it would be and you weren't ready to face it; because you were his fan before and you knew how it'd be. His fans would start to opine and judge, some people maybe would like it and some people not; you knew it because you did it in the past. Because you weren't ready to be inserted into the world of celebrities and gossip; you weren't ready to deal with people around taking photographs of Darren while you were with him. You didn't want people to recognize you, you didn't want people talking about you, and you didn't want to lose your privacy. Maybe you were a little selfish about this, but you really weren't ready for such a change like that; you weren't used of people looking at you, and less you'd be used of people talking about you; even though in the last year you matured and learned and experienced new things, you didn't feel comfortable with that yet. Darren understood you and he agreed; maybe he also wasn't ready to show in public your relationship. After all your relationship was weird because you couldn't see each other so often and people would start talking about it. And you never thought that your relationship would be as hard as it was being; yes you knew it'd be hard, but not this much; but you couldn't do anything about it. You thought that the love for Darren would overcome any barriers of distance; in part it was like that, you didn't feel less love for him, but you didn't know how you'd be with Darren all the time like this. Because even though you remembered what Darren told you once that though miles may lie between the two of you, you're never gonna be far apart because for love doesn't count the miles cause it's measured by the heart; you also needed to feel him, his embraces, his kisses, you needed to feel him close to you physically. You didn't like the fact that you couldn't have all that with Darren and that hurt you and made you feel bad inside, because you knew he was trying hard to make it work. And you appreciated all that Darren was doing, but you couldn't help feeling this way. Maybe it was matter of time, until you get used at this, but you weren't sure about it because it had been six months and you were feeling in the same way if not worse. But Darren was coming to NYC to stay for an entire month and you were extremely happy about it.

The days passed by very fast and in the blink of a hat, the day that Darren would arrive to NYC has come. You offered to Darren staying in your apartment with Sami and you; and after a few times you insisted, he agreed. He wasn't sure to stay at your apartment not because he would be uncomfortable or he didn't want to sleep in the same room than you or Sami; but because he was scared if some people would follow him and they'd find your apartment and, knowing the media strategy, they could blackmail you to get some private information or they would harass around your apartment. But you said that would be a very small and almost insignificant possibility, that he shouldn't worry about it but everything was up to him; you wouldn't force him; when you said this, he automatically agreed bluntly. Darren was going to arrive at night, so you and Sami decided to welcome him with a big dinner. The time you were with Sami, you taught her how to cook and it turned out that she had a talent for cooking besides she loved doing it. So you started cooking and the time when Darren was going to arrive was coming. Suddenly your phone buzzed and you checked it. It was a text from Darren.

From Darren: Sorry boo, the flight was delayed four hours. Yeah it's crazy! You can go to sleep, I'm gonna use the keys I have to get into the apartment. A totally warm huge hug to my favorite girls. Love you.

Oh no. You already had everything ready to wait for Darren and your big dinner that you planned with Sami was an epic fail. Four hours! That was so much and it was going to be really late for Sami and she had to go to school next day. You thought that maybe you could have at least a lunch together next day. You texted back to Darren.

To Darren: It's okay, Dar. See you in a few hours; here your favorite girls are excited to see you back! Have a safe and fun trip! Love you too.

You looked at the dinner which was almost ready and sighed. Sami was still cooking, humming a song happily. You walked toward her and hugged her by her back, resting your chin in her shoulder with a slight smile. Sami looked at you and smiled back.

"Sami, your uncle Dare just told me that he's gonna arrive late, because his flight is delayed. I think this dinner is gonna be only you and me." You said to her softly and Sami frowned.

"Why did that happen? The dinner is almost ready!" Sami complained because of her confusion. "We can wait for him and then we can heat the food when he arrives."

"No, Sami. Tomorrow you have school and Darren is gonna arrive very late. Maybe we can make it up tomorrow." You smiled at her and Sami just sighed but she nodded.

"Okay. But tomorrow we're gonna have a dinner, the three of us!" Sami said, looking at you and you nodded smiling sweetly.

"Promise." You smiled at her once again and kissed her cheek and Sami smiled again, chuckling. "Now let's finish the dinner so we can eat and then to bed! So tomorrow we can wake up very early and greet your uncle."

"It's almost ready!" Sami said happily.

You and Sami had dinner together and then you went to bed. As you used to do, you went to Sami's bedroom to tell her a story before sleeping. You leaned in her bed next to her to tell the story and Sami snuggled up to you. She quickly fell asleep but you stayed there, caressing her hair and looking at her sleeping. It was always nice to see Sami sleeping very relaxed and happy, she was such a pretty and cute little girl, and you were happy to have made that decision to let Sami staying with you. Without realizing it, you fell asleep snuggling up to her.

"Beautiful as always." You heard a whisper in the middle of the night followed by a kiss on your forehead that made you shiver and open your eyes all of a sudden.

Darren was kneeling next to you and looking at you with a fond smile on his face, caressing your cheek very softly. He looked tired but happy and gorgeous as always. Your heart started to beat faster because of the extremely happiness and emotion you were feeling. Finally the man you loved was next to you to stay there for an entire month. You didn't realize how much you missed him like hell until you saw his face in the flesh.

"Dar!" You whispered with a shrill voice to not wake up Sami who was fast asleep and you hugged him very tight, giggling quietly.

Darren also started to giggle quietly and happily and he took you by your waist to lift you up. You wrapped your arms around his neck resting your chin on his shoulder and wrapped your legs around his waist to cling to him and maintain balance while Darren was holding you by your hips. Darren started to spin with you, kissing all over your face hurriedly, still giggling quietly. Then he stopped spinning and took you outside Sami's bedroom. He walked toward the living room and leaned you back on the couch, getting on top of you, leaning his forehead on yours still smiling goofily and lovingly. You wrapped your arms around his neck again and he placed his hands on your jaw.

"I missed you so fucking much!" Darren said still smiling in front your lips, this time a little louder.

"Really? I couldn't notice it." You teased him, giggling in front his lips.

"I could make you notice it." Darren smiled mischievously, raising an eyebrow.

"Wondering how that would work." You smiled also mischievously, biting your lips making Darren fix his eyes on your lips and he parted his lips.

Darren ran down your jawline with his fingertips slowly, his sight still fixed on your lips and you staring into his eyes, enjoying the warmth of his touch that you missed very much. Then Darren slightly touched his lips with yours and he stayed like that for a few seconds before starting kissing your lips very slowly. Then he bit your lips softly and you placed a hand on the back of his head, pulling him a little closer to you and that was the moment when Darren started to kiss your lips faster and deeper, placing a hand on your waist and the other hand behind your earlobe. He sought a more comfortable position, leaning his entire body on top of yours. You placed a hand on his hip and with your free hand you started to run your fingers through his curls. Darren shivered at your touch and he deepened the kiss, the kiss wasn't anymore softly, now it was an eager and lustful kiss; it was a wet kiss mixed occasionally with soft bites. Darren started to tug your shirt and he finally started rubbing his hands up and down the side of your waist underneath your shirt; his legs entwining with yours. Then Darren stroked the side of your face and slowly licked your lower lip before driving his tongue into your mouth. You moaned with desire as the kiss grew deeper and more passionate and then you started rubbing your hands up and down of his back underneath his shirt. He started to touch your tongue with the tip of his, making his motions smooth at first and then deepening it, almost fiercely. You were getting carried away and no one of you wanted to stop, no one of you could stop at this point. Darren then broke the kiss to breathe fast in front your lips, looking into your eyes. His hair was completely messed up, his cheeks were flushed and he was looking at you with lustful eyes while he was panting. In that moment you took advantage to nuzzle your nose on his neck to then nibble softly his earlobe and suck it slowly. In that moment Darren closed his eyes and let out a low moan, thrusting his hips against yours, instinctively. You felt how Darren was already hard and he grabbed your jawline to turn your head and start kissing you fiercely and passionately again. He lifted up your shirt still kissing you and you started to lift up his shirt as well. He stopped kissing you to take off his own shirt. You looked at his bare chest very intently, gosh he was flawless. After a while you were admiring his bare chest, you looked up to find Darren looking at you with a naughty grin on his face. Still looking into your eyes and grinning naughtily, Darren took off your shirt and now he was the one admiring you. He leaned to start kissing all over your bare stomach, continuing then licking it slowly and smoothly. You couldn't help it but start moaning, plunged into pleasure. Then he started to kiss your lower stomach and he placed his hands on your waistband button, looking up to you with lust and grinning naughtily. You just looked at him, panting and completely turned on; Darren nodded and smiled naughtily at you before starting to unbutton your pants very slowly, with his eyes fixed on yours. He finally finished unbuttoning your pants and you arched your back, so he could take them off. Darren kissed your femoral and when he was about to take them off something unexpected happened.

"Uncle Dare? Is that you?" Sami's sleepy voice echoed in the room.

There was Sami, standing in front of you, very sleepy and rubbing her eyes. Both Darren and you widened your eyes, freaking out and getting extremely nervous and uncomfortable all of a sudden. Darren got away from you abruptly and covered his boner with a cushion while you quickly grabbed your shirt that was on the floor to cover your naked body. Now Sami was looking at you both with wide eyes and astonished. Oh damn, that was the most awkward and embarrassing situation you've ever lived. With all the possibilities in the world, Sami just had to appear in that moment and catch the two of you in action. You looked away totally in shock and embarrassed and Darren shifted uncomfortably in the couch, gulping and biting his lips. You cursed yourself inside; you couldn't forgive yourself about this Sami had to see. You were only hoping that she didn't understand what you and Darren were doing because it'd be a traumatic event for her.

"Sami!" Darren shrieked shrilly, still covering his boner with the cushion and with his bare chest, completely jittery. "You...you should be...you should be sleeping!" Darren shrieked shrilly again, stuttering.

"I know. I wanted to check if that was you. What were you doing?" Sami asked, still sleepy and yawning.

"Uhm…nothing. We…I…I was telling your auntie that I…I was tired. We…we were about to go to sleep…as what you should be doing now." Darren stuttered edgy, without moving from the couch and without moving the cushion from his boner.

"Yes." Sami answered yawning and she got closer to Darren to kiss his cheek and hug him while Darren was still nervous. "I'm happy you're here again. I missed you, uncle Dare." Sami said with sleepy eyes and smiling slightly.

"Me too, Sami." Darren said, smiling despite his nerves. "But tomorrow I'll have the day off and we would be able to talk. Now you should go to bed, tomorrow you have school."

Sami nodded and kissed Darren's cheek once again before going to her bedroom. After a while the two of you made sure that Sami was already in her bedroom you looked at each other. Both of you were completely ashamed and awkward, without being able to move. Darren started to laugh edgily.

"It seems we've been caught." Darren said raising his eyebrows and still laughing edgily. "Oh man. This never happened to me in my fucking entire life. Sami definitely hump trumped us."

"Yeah." You laughed tensely and Darren buried his head on your stomach, kissing it but this time was soft kisses.

You let Darren kissing your stomach and you started running your fingers softly through his curls. While Darren was still kissing your stomach, Sami popped in the room again; making the two of you get nervous again. Why on the earth you had to be caught in the worst situations? You bit your lips and looked down and Darren sat upright on the couch.

"Uncle Dare? I forgot to say that I love you." Sami said sleepy and turned around again to come back to her bedroom.

Darren looked at you with wide eyes and raising his eyebrows, shaking his head in disbelief. He started to laugh softly, this time jovially and less nervous.

"Guess this isn't our day." Darren said with an amused smile and leaned to kiss your cheek.

"I'm sure this have to be a kind of signal. Twice in a row, Darren!" You said widening your eyes and smiling almost amused. "We'll have to talk to Sami about this, somehow."

"What?" Darren asked perplexed. "You're not saying it for serious..."

"Yes, I mean it. Darren, you don't know what she must be thinking now. It's not nice for a little girl see...something like this." You answered serious and firmly.

"You said it. She's a little girl. For sure she thought we were just lying here because I was tired." Darren said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Darren...Sami can be very little but she's acutely smart. So I think the best is gonna be if we talk to her, so she wouldn't think anything wrong or she wouldn't be traumatized." You said roundly.

"Oh c'mon! She's not gonna think anything like that. I don't see what we're gonna get telling her what happened. We're gonna traumatize her even more." Darren said frowning and stubbornly.

"Fine. Don't do it, Darren. I'm gonna talk to her and you can do whatever you want." You said this time a little upset because of Darren's attempt to disregard that responsibility.

"Woah!" Darren exclaimed astonished, raising his eyebrows. "Don't get mad, boo! I just came and you're already mad at me! What the hell?"

"Oh asshole." You said upset, standing up and putting on your shirt.

You started to walk away from Darren to go to your bedroom but Darren quickly stood up and ran to you to hold you tight by the back and prevent you from moving.

"Sorry if I said something that got you peeved!" Darren said rowdy. "But you also have to admit that you get freaking rabid over little things all the time."

"Really? Awesome!" You said sarcastically.

At one point Darren was right, but it got you mad the fact that now you were upset because of Darren's lack of interest about this responsibility. You started to struggle to get away from him, but Darren quickly turned you around and held you even tighter. Now you were face to face and you looked into Darren's eyes in a rage. Darren was looking at you peaceful but frowning.

"Why are you being like this?" Darren asked befuddled.

"Are you fucking serious?" You asked rudely. "Because you don't take over your responsibilities. Because you think everything is fun; and you don't fucking care to know how Sami actually felt or thought in that moment. Because you cannot deal with this situation when certainly you should be the brave one to take the first step, because she is your niece! And I have no idea what crosses your mind or why you're very coward to settle down and be mature once and for all. And crap! Let me go, Darren!"

You yelled in anger, feeling how all your face was turning flushed. You were so furious that you didn't measure all the words you said, you didn't even know what you said to him but you knew it wasn't something good judging by the expression on Darren's face. He was looking at you puzzled, aghast and thunderstruck, his lips parted and frowning. Then he raised his eyebrows and chirped; in disbelief. He let you, raising his hands; looking down and biting his lips tensely.

"Go." Darren growled sharply.

He got away from you, walking toward where his suitcase was, in silence; completely ignoring you. You stood there in shock trying to realize all the awful words you said to Darren, words that you didn't even mean to say. What the hell crossed your mind to say all those things? You knew that it wasn't like that, but you couldn't apologize to Darren because you were totally puzzled by your own stupid overreaction over a little thing. Darren grabbed his suitcase and he walked toward the front door, still biting his lips and completely uptight and earnest.

"What are you doing Darren?" You asked fearful and blameworthy.

"What do you think? I just came here and all I was expecting was to be full of happiness because I finally got to see you after like a damn long time and all I got was to be treated like crap; all I got was to hear all those...shit." Darren said harshly and he opened the door. "And just to let you know; I do care about Sami, I do care about her like hell because she means a whole lot more for me than for you. I don't think that all is fun and games; hey, I'm a human, I have feelings, I'm not some jackass and dickhead; and I thought you knew it, but hell it seems I was wrong. And you think I'm not mature? Your attitude isn't mature, spitting out shit without knowing how things actually are. Do you think I don't take over my responsibilities? Fuck! You have no idea of all the things I do and all the things I don't do to carry out my responsibilities. I gave up a lot of things that I loved to do to carry out my responsibilities, one of those things is to spend more time with friends or family; because I'm all the time working hard to try to give all the people I love all they need! So don't you dare to say that I don't care because you don't have a fucking idea. Sorry because I didn't want to talk to Sami about all of this! Sorry because I preferred to enjoy the time together instead telling Sami something that was irrelevant to her, because she's so little to think we were about to make out! Sorry because all I wanted minutes before was to enjoy the gladness I felt to be with the person I love and missed like hell! And yeah, it hurt me being treated like that; because evidently I wasn't expecting something like this from you. So yeah, the best is if I go now so I'll let you think and I'll let you in peace because apparently my presence annoys you."

Darren was out of control but every word he was telling you was right. Darren didn't deserve being treated the way you did; and you didn't even know why you said all those things to him if you knew it wasn't like that. You were feeling remorseful and you understood why Darren said it all that way.

"Darren...I'm sorry. What I said... I didn't mean it. It was inappropriate and inaccurate." You said looking into his eyes with a regretful look.

"Yeah. It was totally inaccurate." Darren said looking away, tightening his jaw. "And disappointing."

"Darren, I'm really sorry." You said apologetic. "Darren, please, look at me." You said grabbing his free hand and Darren looked at you sluggishly. "I didn't mean what I said. I know who you are and I know you aren't all those things I said. I said it because I was upset; but not upset with you, I was upset with myself; because all the time I'm pretending that I know what I'm doing and the truth is that I don't fucking know what I'm doing. I don't know what's the right thing to do, the wrong thing; I don't know how to manage all of this, I'm the one who can't deal with all of this because everything is new for me and all the time I think I'm doing the wrong thing and that upsets me! That makes me feel so damn impotent because all I want is to do the right thing and I don't know what the right thing is. I try to do all the things in the way I always wished to happen to me. But how can I do it if I never knew how it was? Because I didn't have a good example in my life and because I'm not a good example for anyone. And I want to do my best with Sami but I always end up failing, I always think something is missing and I don't know what to do!" You said with choked voice and distressed.

Darren was looking at you intently and he stayed in silence. You were expecting him to say something, but he didn't utter a word. Instead of saying something, he sighed and he let out your hand to close the door and leave the suitcase on the floor. He looked at the floor for a while you were standing there, distressed and regretful and without knowing what to do. Then Darren looked up to you with a tender-hearted look.

"Come here." Darren said kindly, grabbing your hand to pull you into a hug. "Yes, you overreacted and so did I. Well, I think that's why we fit together so well, both of us are very stubborn sometimes but we always find the way to make it right. Both of us are dumb humans." Darren laughed softly, still hugging you. Then he broke the hug to grab your cheeks and look into your eyes while you placed your hands on his hips. "Please, don't say again that you aren't doing the right thing; because, you know, that's bullshit. You're doing extraordinary job with Sami, she's very happy with you and she's not depressed about her loss as she would be if she weren't living with you. I'm sorry because I never could see you were feeling like this. I swear if I could have noticed it, I'd have tried harder to make you see that you're doing the best a person could do. It's unbelievable all you did and all you're doing. I guess I never thanked you enough for all of this. And if you feel you can't do it, if you feel you're not doing it right; I'm right here, to make it with you. We're gonna do this together and you see, everything's gonna be alright. I believe in us." Darren smiled at you and he kissed your lips fondly. "And I believe in us because I love you. And because I love you I won't let you down."

"Thank you, Dar. Thanks for understanding." You said with choked voice, thrilled. "I love you too, so much."

You didn't know what else to say. Your words weren't enough to express all the happiness you were feeling to have Darren back, to have found him, to have as a boyfriend the man you always wanted to have but you weren't expecting to have. You couldn't express with words what you were feeling, that now you weren't going to be alone and do all the things by yourself like in your past; because now you had someone who was going to stand by you, going through all the things that come to happen, always together. And that was a new thing that you loved to know and that made you feel full.


Next day you woke up very early, curled up to Darren. It was a great feeling being in his arms as always, but this time it was even better because it had been six months since the last time you could actually curl up to Darren knowing that he was going to stay here for a long time and not only two or three days. Yes, you've been curled up to Darren before, but it was nothing compared to now; because before you didn't love him as a much as you loved him now, because in all the time you were together, even if you were far apart, you experienced new things and your love for him grew day by day. It was always overwhelming to see Darren sleeping, he looked really relaxed and beautiful, and it wasn't supposed that someone looks beautiful while sleeping; but nothing on Darren was normal, he was an extraordinary person that was beyond of all you knew. A warm smile crossed on your face when you realized that this was one of the things that you loved most to do; sleeping and snuggled to the man you loved and who made you feel as happy as never before. You stayed staring at him for a while, admiring every little feature of his face, before getting up to make breakfast and wake up Sami to go to school. When you got up from bed, Darren grumbled and he tucked in the quilt, only his head peeking out of the quilt, curling into bed completely asleep. You tried to hold back your laughter because it was adorable seeing Darren as if he were a little kid. Trying to not make any noise, you left the bedroom to go to the kitchen and start making breakfast, but this time was breakfast for three. After you finished making breakfast, you went to Sami's bedroom to wake up her and help her to get ready to go to school as you were used to do. When you saw Sami you had to make a big effort not to laugh. Sami was sleeping in the same position than Darren when you left your bedroom; definitely they were relatives. You sat on the edge of her bed and started to caress her hair very softly and then you leaned to whisper in her ear.

"Sami, it's time to wake up!" You said sweetly smiling at her. Sami grumbled in the same way Darren did earlier and you couldn't help it but giggle softly.

"Can't I skip it, only for today?" Sami grumbled again, still with closed eyes and tucking in her head into the quilt.

"Like the same you say to me every day." You said firmly but trying to hold back your amusement. "Come on, Sami. At the end of the week is gonna start the winter break and you're gonna be free to go to the park and play."

"Okay, okay." Sami grumbled once again and sat on the bed, still with closed eyes.

You smiled and helped Sami to change her clothes and to get ready to school. Before breakfast, you combed her hair and told her to go brush her teeth. While Sami was in the bathroom, you went to the kitchen and set the table. When Sami entered into the kitchen, she was smiling and apparently she was very happy. It seemed as if she didn't remember the awkward situation she saw yesterday, when she caught you and Darren on the couch; but you weren't sure and that made you feel lightly nervous. Sami walked to you widely smiling and hugged by your legs as you leaned to kiss her forehead with a smile.

"I think someone is happy this morning!" You exclaimed smiling and you gave her hot chocolate while Sami sat.

"I'm really happy! Aren't you happy because uncle Dare is here again?" Sami said still smiling widely.

"Yes, I am." You answered giggling and giving her toast bread. "And this weekend we're gonna be able to spend more time together if Darren isn't very busy."

"I know! We can go all together to the park, and watch a movie, we can make snow angels, and play a snowball war, or make snowmen, or we can go ice skating!" Sami said excited, bouncing on her chair and you started to laugh.

"Maybe we can do it. But only you and me, you know your uncle can't do all those things." You answered kindly but feeling a little sad inside.

Oh no, why were you feeling like this? You shouldn't be feeling like this. Again, you knew all of this since the beginning, you knew that you couldn't do all of those normal things with Darren. You shouldn't be feeling sad because if you were feeling sad since now, that your relationship with Darren was almost recent, you didn't want to imagine how you'd feel after a few years if you were still together. You didn't want to imagine how sad would be for you knowing the fact that you'd never be able to do those simple things but which filled a couple with happiness; because you knew that probably the smallest things were those which make someone really happy. It was kind of sad to think that you won't be able to have those moments with Darren and you started to feel scared that maybe your relationship would turn into a routine because there weren't so many things you'd be able to do; and you knew that the routine was one of the worst things ever. Oh no shit. You shouldn't be feeling like that, you shouldn't be thinking and imagining all of that. You should just be happy because you were with the man who makes you happy and who makes you smile always. And if you kept thinking all that, you'd screw up all you had. But you couldn't help that feeling. All of a sudden you felt extremely weird, it was impossible that you could feel sad and happy at the same time. You needed to keep away those thoughts from your mind, you only needed to think about all the good things. But what if all the bad things and barriers of your relationship outweigh the good things? No, you needed to make it work; you couldn't give up on something that finally was making you happy; you couldn't give up on the person who made possible you all the good things in your life. You were just thinking bullshit…or at least that was what you wanted to think. You must have been silent for a long time and with a weird grimace on your face because Sami was looking at you frowning, trying to figure out what you were thinking. You quickly dissipated all the negative thoughts from your mind and you smiled at Sami before taking a sip of your coffee.

"Who said I wouldn't like to do all those things? Next Saturday, the snowball war is gonna start and I'm super sure that I'm gonna rock it." Darren's hoarse voice echoed in the kitchen.

You turned around to see Darren leaning against the door frame and staring at you with a sleepy face and lazy smile. His hair was completely messed up with stubble on his face, his curls were unruly and messy; he was still wearing the same clothes that he wore to sleep but now he was wearing a baggy blue hoodie. Somehow he looked absurdly attractive and you were sure if someone else were wearing those clothes, that person wouldn't look really ridiculously good-looking as Darren. How was it possible for him to look so attractive with those clothes and that messy appearance? For some reason you couldn't understand, you loved the scruffy look of Darren. Sami's face lit up as soon as she saw Darren standing there. She got up and ran to Darren's arms to hug him tight, smiling widely. You smiled to see the cute situation, it was very nice to see them both that way and you never could get enough of seeing all the love they had to each other.

"I missed you so much, uncle Dare!" Sami exclaimed, radiating happiness and still hugging him.

"I missed you too, Cheeky Monkey!" Darren said laughing and Sami frowned.

"I do not have monkey cheeks." Sami yammered, crossing her arms while you and Darren laughed loud out because Sami didn't understand it.

"Of course you have monkey cheeks!" Darren laughed. "Monkey cheeks, monkey cheeks, monkey cheeks!" Darren mocked like a child, rubbing his cheeks on Sami's cheeks and giggling.

"Get out!" Sami said moody trying to go away from Darren who was holding her tight and was still rubbing his cheeks on hers. "Your beard is so prickly!"

Darren stopped rubbing his cheeks on hers to look at Sami extremely amused and he burst out laughing along with you. Then Darren changed his facial expression and he made a weird grimace, frowning, showing all his teeth and holding out his claw hands menacingly.

"I'm a bear! Grrrrr!" Darren growled, still holding out his claw hands menacingly.

Sami got stunned and started to run away squealing while Darren started to chase her around, still holding out his claw hands menacingly and growling. You couldn't stop laughing out loud, watching at them playing around. It was such an adorable situation; Darren knew how to get along with kids. Suddenly Sami hid behind you, clinging to your legs. You looked at Sami laughing and then you looked at Darren, raising your eyebrows and crossing your arms, while Darren was approaching you cautiously; still holding out his claw hands menacingly and looking at you extremely amused and playfully. Now Darren was almost seven inches from you and you were looking at him intently and intrigued of what he was going to do.

"Give me the Cheeky Monkey!" Darren growled as a bear and you had to bite your lips to hold back your laughter.

"What if not?" You answered playfully and raising an eyebrow amused.

"I'd have to eat both of you!" Darren growled again, showing his claw-hands.

"I'm not giving you her. So, bring it on!" You said defiant, extremely amused and protecting Sami.

"You got it!" Darren growled.

He rushed to you both with his claw-hands, making the three of you to fall off the floor. All of you started to shriek of laughter, still on the floor while Darren pretended to be eating you and Sami, growling as a bear. You and Sami looked at each other and nodded in conspiracy. Darren looked suspiciously at you both and then Sami and you started to tickle him. He started to roll on the floor desperately, trying to get away from you both, unable to control the fit of laughter.

"Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!" Darren said, still in a fit of laughter; but you and Sami continued tickling him. "I surrender! White flag, white flag!" Darren yelled with a shrilly voice.

Sami and you stared to laugh and stopped. You both gave a high five, looking at Darren who was extended on the floor on his back; trying to catch his breath, gasping and trying to control laughter. You and Sami got up, still giggling.

"Victory is ours! You shouldn't mess with us, Mr. Epic fail of bear!" You laughed.

"You're so effing bitchy!" Darren said frowning but amused, getting up from the floor.

"Manners, Darren!" You looked at him serious. "You shouldn't use that language with the people who beat you."

"Sneaky devil should be your name!" Darren said defiant and you looked at him raising an eyebrow, condescending; always playfully.

"Oh yeah?" You said getting closer to him still condescending and raising an eyebrow while Darren gulped and stepped back. "It's interesting what a sneaky devil can do to you."

"I'm not scared. Bring it on!" Darren said unsure but defiant.

"I will. For now, as your defeat, you'll have to reward us." You said amused. "Sami, what would be our reward?" You said looking at Sami who was smiling amused and Darren fixed his eyes on her.

"Oh well..." Sami said swinging, and thinking. "Darren would have to take us to McDonalds." Darren raised his eyebrows in surprise and you looked down.

You knew that it was almost unlikely to happen because McDonalds was a public place, very public place and Darren couldn't just go there with the two of you. Darren looked a little uncomfortable because surely he was thinking that wasn't a good idea and he couldn't do it because it'd be probabilities of people approaching him if those people get to recognize him. After hesitating for a while, he looked at Sami with a smile.

"It's a deal. I heard they're making a new kind of burger that both of you are gonna love. It's called McWicked." Darren said craftily and mischievously.

"Really? It sounds cool for me." You said amused but also a little surprised because Darren accepted Sami's request. "You could get the McBear, it could be instructive. Maybe that way you're gonna learn how to be actually a good bear."

"Yeah, I heard the McBear is fucking delicious. And you should feel special, the McWicked is only for...let's say special people. Not everybody can eat it." Darren said mockingly.

"Alright McDumb, now Sami has to go to school. When she gets out we're gonna get those McWhatever." You said, grabbing your keys and giving Sami her bag.

"Okay, let me grab my coffee, I'm gonna drink it on the way." Darren said, grabbing his cup of coffee and you looked at him amazed.

"But Darren, we go to her school walking." You said preventively.

"Well, you're lucky today. I have a car, a real one I swear." Darren said goofily. "So hurry up!" Darren said walking to the door.

"Are you gonna go like that, Darren?" You said, looking at his messy appearance and Darren looked at himself and shrugged.

"I look quirky and with a touch of bad boy. Very badass, therefore very cool." Darren said giving you a playfully sexy look and you just shook your head.

"Alright, if you wanna think so." You said jokingly.

You got out the house and Darren drove to Sami's school. On the way, you didn't stop joking and talking. It was very nice to have Darren back. But on the way you started to think about Darren's decision to go to a public place with you and Sami. That was pretty odd and to be honest you were a little alarmed of what was going to happen if you go there and people around recognize him. It wouldn't be a delightful time. However, you also were glad about this because you were going to do a normal thing with Darren and suddenly all you thought earlier, dissipated.

"You know? We have all the morning long only for the two of us. Alone." Darren said seductively winking.

You were still in the car, in front of Sami's school in that really cold morning in NYC. When you left Sami inside the school and you came back to the car, you found out that Darren had turned on the music and he was looking at you very seductively, telling you that thing.

"What are you implying?" You asked intrigued, looking at him amused.

"Well, it's a cold morning, we're alone, and we have nothing to do. I suggest doing something spontaneous, stimulating and maybe we could say wanky." Darren answered in front of your lips alluringly, staring into your eyes.

"Oh Mr. Criss. I'm afraid I don't get your point." You said also seductively in front his lips and you slightly touched his lips with yours.

"Oh no? Let me elaborate." Darren whispered and slowly he got closer, placing his hand underneath your shirt and leaning his head to kiss your neck slowly and softly.

"Darren we're in a public place…" You whispered but enjoying his kisses.

"Hmmm. The car has tinted windows." Darren whispered in your ear and softly nibbled your earlobe, smiling mischievously.

Suddenly Darren grabbed you but your waist and he pulled you to him, sitting you on his lap, on the driver seat. You got astonished by this sudden action and actually you were in a very uncomfortable position. Darren noticed it because he laughed softly and helped you to get in a better position. Now you were facing him, with your legs spread to the sides of his lap. Darren placed his hands on your lower back to pull you to him as close as possible, smiling naughtily. Now your stomach was touching his chest and it felt very good. Now Darren placed a hand on your back underneath your shirt and placed his free hand on the back of your head to lean you and pull you into a very intense kiss. You placed your hands on his lower stomach and started to tug his shirt to then start rubbing his stomach underneath his shirt, biting softly his lower lip. That made Darren thrust his hips against your ass, as an instinct. Darren lifted up your shirt and you did the same; he started to rub his bare chest on your bare stomach, kissing you fiercely. You placed both of your hands on his hair and you started to mess it while Darren was rubbing his hands up and down of your back. The both of you were breathing really fast and suddenly you weren't cold anymore, you started to feel how your cheeks were flushing hard. Then you pulled yourself even closer to him, making your butt rub his crotch, what made Darren moan loud. That was the moment when Darren started dry humping you; kissing you wildly and gasping, completely turned on. Oh well, you were so turned on too; and you've never ever experienced this feeling but you were loving it. But oh what the hell? No, no, no, this couldn't be happening. A cop was knocking the car window, trying to see inside the car, but obviously he couldn't. You and Darren widen your eyes and then Darren bowed his head and snorted in frustration. You quickly sat on the passenger seat and Darren grumbled in frustration and apparently he was annoyed. He placed one of his arms on his boner and then he opened the car window.

"Yeah sir?" Darren asked hoarsely and trying to sound polite but he didn't get it. You just were looking away in silence.

"Oh Jesus Christ! You're Darren Criss!" The cop said stunned, looking at Darren and Darren just looked at him with wide eyes and lips parted.

"Yeah, the hobbit-ish." Darren answered with a laugh, but it sounded a little bitter.

"Mr. Criss, my daughter is your fan. May I ask you if I could get an autograph? I wouldn't want to bother you, Mr. Criss but it'd mean a lot to my little Sarah." The cop asked a little ashamed and shy.

"Uhm..." Darren started to say a little uncomfortable and he ran his fingers through his hair, keeping firmly the arm that had on his boner. "Yeah, sure..."

"Thank you very much, Mr. Criss!" The cop said excited and happy, giving him a paper and a pen.

Darren grabbed both things with his free hand and he put the paper on the arm that was covering his boner, trying to make sure it was well hidden. Uncomfortable he started to sign the autograph. You were completely in silence, very awkward and looking away trying to be unnoticed.

"Sarah, right?" Darren asked frowning and nervous.

"Yes, Sarah, Sarah Connan." The cop said with a smile, looking at what Darren was writing.

"Alright, Mr. Connan. Here it is." Darren said, smiling slightly still uncomfortable, giving the cop the autograph.

"Thank you, Mr. Criss. My Sarah is gonna love this. Thank you." The cop said grateful. Darren smiled slightly at him, expectant to know what the cop wanted when interrupted the two of you. The cop noticed that Darren was expectant. "Right. I came here to say that you shouldn't be parked in front of a public institution for so long. I'm sorry to bother you, Mr. Criss but I'd have to say you to move the car. I'm not going to fine you if you move the car now." The cop said a little uncomfortable but kindly.

"Yeah, right. I'm sorry Mr. Connan for all the inconvenience caused." Darren answered politely and formally.

"Have a good day with the lady, Mr. Criss."

The cop finally went away, returning to the police car. Darren quickly closed the car window and he abruptly rested his forehead in the steering wheel, snorting. Darren glanced at you, still with his forehead rested in the steering wheel and he shook his head, laughing bitterly. You laughed along with him, but you were a little amused now. The whole situation was actually funny and wacky. It was impossible to believe that you always had to get caught in all of those situations. You've never been through situations like these in your entire life and now you were being through these kind of situations all the time; it seemed there was no midpoint for you. Then Darren pulled back to rest his head on the seat and he continued laughing in disbelief.

"That's what I call a cockblock." Darren said incredulous and you laughed louder.

"And he knew you, Darren! Oh my god! You had to sign an autograph with a boner! Oh please!" You roared with laughter. "How does it feel?"

"Oh dammit, you're an ass." Darren said biting his lips and looking at you intently, but amused. "What can I say? It's exciting to experience new things in life."

"Good luck with that." You said, still laughing hard and Darren gave you a soft nudge.

"Anyway..." Darren sighed and looked at you playfully. "What i really wanted to suggest you was to go out for a coffee. You know, it's cold, we need something warm and stimulating."

"Yeah, sure you wanted that. But okay, I take it." You said laughing and Darren looked at you, faking an annoyed face.

"At least I could get a kiss. You know, it was a very uncomfortable moment and only a kiss could make me chill out." Darren said mischievously.

"A kiss, uh?" You raised an eyebrow teasingly. "I think I could do that…" You grinned mischievously and softly kissed Darren's cheek.

"What the hell is that?" Darren said looking at you in disbelief and frowning. "Is that what you call a damn kiss? Well played, tease-burger." Darren pretended to be offended.

"Hmm, you're so teasealicious!" You laughed and then you grabbed his jawline to pull him into a soft kiss but intense. Then you broke the kiss and Darren looked at you with a satisfied grin.

"Oh hell yeah, that was much better." Darren said, pecking your lips before start driving this time with smiling.

Darren drove to some place you've never gone before. It was a little far from you lived, but if Darren was going there was because he knew what he was doing. For the first time you thought it was weird the fact that Darren wanted to go out for a coffee, knowing the consequences that this would cause. Maybe Darren was trying to find a place where not so many people were used to go, so that way you'd be able to be quiet. But for you it didn't matter what you were going to go; you could go to some awful place with Darren and you'd be happy anyway because what really mattered for you was to spend time with him. Darren stopped the car and you looked around to see where you were, but you didn't recognize the place. It seemed a quiet place, and almost anyone was walking around. You looked at him frowning, expecting some kind of answer or explanation, but Darren just smiled at you and got out of the car. You also got out of the car and as soon as you did it, Darren grabbed your hand. That was the very first time that Darren grabbed your hand in a public place. Actually he did it before, when you first met, but at that time you were just friends and it didn't mean the same than now. For some reason you felt odd. On the one hand, you felt really happy to be able to walk with Darren holding hands as a normal couple; but on the other hand, you felt nervous and you looked around to see if someone was looking at you both, if there was someone who could come to where Darren and you were and start asking Darren an autograph, or someone who could take you a picture. It seemed that Darren noticed how you got uptight all of a sudden because he laughed softly and intertwined his arm with yours, getting even closer.

"Don't worry, is a safe place." Darren said softly, looking at you with a soothing grin on his face and you only nodded. "Really. Not so many people come here because this is an unpopular place. Is a place that my bro and I found years ago and since we realized that not so many people come here and we can be relaxed, we started to come here very often when we wanted to catch up and we didn't want to be disturbed."

"Yeah, that's what it seems." You answered, still looking around to see if someone was looking at you.

"Hey, we can go somewhere else if you want. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable with us hanging out like this. We can go to somewhere more private." Darren said, stopping you to look into your eyes. "I just kind of wanted to have a moment like this with you, where we can be calm and walk around like a normal couple. I'd love it, to feel like we can walk in a public place and not be interrupted by anyone. Only you and me; walking down a random street in the awesome New York City."Darren exclaimed, making you spin and laughing softly and you laughed along with him.

"I'd love that too." You smiled at him while Darren was wrapping his arms around you.

"Is that your way to say that you agree to hang out here?" Darren asked, smiling at you and still wrapping his arms around your waist.

"Yes, I agree. I want to hang out with you."

"And you won't complain if I hold your hand while we walk?" Darren asked still smiling and looking into your eyes.

"I won't complain." You giggled softly.

"And…" Darren smiled amused, still looking into your eyes. "You won't complain if while we walk I do this…?" Darren leaned his head to peck your lips, still smiling.

Your first reaction was to look around if someone was looking at you again. Yes, you got nervous of Darren doing that because you weren't completely sure if there was someone like spying you. But as soon as you did it, you regretted because now Darren was looking at you with a slight sadness in his eyes. You really wanted to do that with Darren but you couldn't help to feel chary. You were stupid. Earlier you were thinking that you really wanted to have a normal moment like a normal couple with Darren; but now that you were having it, you were feeling like you were doing the wrong thing, like you shouldn't be doing this. You hated to feel that what you were doing right now, to hang out and act like a normal couple with Darren, was forbidden as if it was an illegal thing.

"Darren…" You started to say regretful but Darren shook his hand.

"No it's okay. I do I understand you." Darren said with a hint of dreariness.

"No…"

"Hey!" Darren said, placing his hands on your shoulders and squeezing them softly. "It's alright."

"No, it isn't alright. Sorry, I shouldn't have acted like that. You…it just took me by surprise. That's it. But of course you can do it." You said a little unsure but knowing that it was the right thing to say.

"Yeah." Darren said looking down and he bit his lower lip.

You looked at him and then you pecked his lips softly. Darren looked at you confused and surprised at your action and you smiled sweetly at him. Darren smiled back at you, livelier. Then he grabbed your hand again.

"Let's go, it's could out here. I need my dosage of caffeine." Darren chuckled and led you.

You walked for a while holding hands. A few people were walking around but nobody interrupted you. Some people just passed by and some people stared at you both; but no one approached you and no one took a picture or something. You felt good walking next to Darren like this, on the street, without having to worry about someone trying to get something. It was completely different from that time when you met each other in person, at the Central Park. You started to remember the first time you met in person that day; it was craziness. Darren was actually crazy to want meeting you in such a very public place as the Central Park was. You never thought about this before and you started to wonder why Darren made an appointment to meet you there and not in somewhere more private where nobody would see you or nobody would see what he was doing or with who he was. Central Park was like a risky place to him, and it was even more risky because he had no idea who you were at that moment; he had no idea how you looked like or what you could have done because he didn't know if you were a psychopath or not. Maybe that was the reason why decided to meet you in a public place, even though he knew that the most probable was that he was going to be kind of harassed by people, just how happened that day. Now that you finally were thinking about the first time you met in person, you were intrigued to know why he chose the Central Park to meet each other. And now that you were thinking about the time you met in person, you started to wonder why Darren decided to meet you in person and why without telling you he wanted so first. He vaguely told you why he wanted to meet you in person, but maybe that time you didn't have the confidence you both had now so he omitted some things. You truly wanted to know all of that now because you never asked those things before and it'd be nice to know. You glanced at Darren, he was looking ahead, smiling widely and relaxed. His face denoted a peace that you barely saw on him; you only saw that face when you were alone in a private place talking about random things as good friends. Because Darren, besides being your boyfriend, he was your best friend; and that was exactly the reason why your bond was very strong. Your boyfriend, Darren was your boyfriend. You couldn't get used to think of Darren as your boyfriend. Yes, you loved it but to be honest, you never had a real boyfriend before. Yes, throughout your life you had some love affairs, but there weren't so many and those weren't serious relationships. And you knew that what you had with Darren was something serious, something real; as soppy as it could sound, you really felt it was real love. The whole thing you had with Darren was completely new for you and you could assure that it was real love because you were still together despite all the bad things you went through. You glanced at Darren over again. How come you were his girlfriend? How come everything happened so fast? How come you were so in love in so little? The only fact to know you actually met through letters and now you were a couple was pretty weird and unusual, to not to say almost wacky. But the question that was going around in your mind and you couldn't completely understand, was why Darren fell in love with you. Why did Darren fall in love with you; you among all the girls in the world? Why did Darren fall in love with you, a person that was completely lost and distressed and angry and disappointed with everything when he first met you? What did Darren see on you that made you so special to choose you instead a beautiful, smart, cheerful and less complicated girl? Yes, Darren told you some reasons, but you couldn't get why he was feeling like that if you weren't a special person; you weren't an amazing person, and you weren't a person of steady temperament. He could have the perfect woman, but he chose you; a simple girl who could be easily forgettable, with a lot of problems and extremely complicated with a lot of things to learn about life. Why? You also wanted to know that, to try to fully understand the reasons. -Look at yourself- You thought inside. -Years ago I was a nobody, completely by myself; and now I have the perfect guy next to me. I have the guy who taught me all the good things about life. The guy who gave me everything. I'm finally able to be with the person I love. And I'm loved by the person I love and that never happened in my life. And it isn't something faked as all the things I had in my past; it's something actually real. Who would say that a person like me who was completely worthless now was worth it for someone else? Me, the person who didn't have anything to live for. Me, the person who thought was meant to have only pain in life. Me, the person who couldn't conceive real love. Me, the person who wanted to pass away and end with any kind of bad thing. That kind of life seemed so far away now; that kind of life now seemed the life of another very different person. I'm different now therefore my life is different. And I never was better. This is what I always imagined to have but I never thought I could actually have. Finally. Finally my time to enjoy my life came.- You got surprised when you realized that on the way to whatever you were going with Darren, you thought about a lot of things at full speed; but you couldn't stop thinking. You were so deep in thought that you didn't paid attention to where you were and how long you'd been walking. But you knew you'd been walking since a long time because your feet were starting to hurt. Why had Darren parked the car so far away from that place he wanted to go? You looked around and you understood the reason. You weren't in a common street; you were in some kind of alleyway, almost deserted. It was a restricted area for cars, so all you could see were some quirky people walking around and some dumpsters. You had to admit that if you were alone you'd never go there because it didn't seem a safe place, even though it wasn't a dirty place. Actually it was a very clean place and there were a lot of plants. You've never been in that place and you've never heard about that place. You were in an alleyway and that made you remind about a dream you once had, a dream where Darren was involved. Yes, you remembered the dream, Darren was playing the piano, and you found him at the end of the alleyway; but at that moment you didn't know that the mysterious guy was Darren, so you couldn't see his face. You remembered that you kissed on the dream. That alleyway was very similar to the alleyway you dreamed of; it was very similar that the fact of thinking about it was creepy. You've never been in that place but somehow it seemed familiar to you, and it wasn't because of the dream. It made you remind you about something that you lived when you were a little kid, when your father was still alive. But you couldn't tell what it was. You tried hard to remember that old memory, but you didn't get it. You couldn't understand why now you were thinking about your father, about the family you once used to have, about you being a little happy kid. It was a good feeling; it was a remembrance that made you feel nostalgia and happiness. Even though you couldn't picture that remembrance; you could feel it, and that was what made you feel good but odd at the same time. Oh no, why were you let out a tear? But you knew it wasn't a sad tear, it was just a tear of emotion. Anyway, you wiped it away very quickly and covertly so Darren wouldn't notice it. That place was special, you didn't know why but you felt it. You knew that you knew this place even though you thought you've never been there. But its essence made you remind your childhood. There must be a reason. All your thoughts were dispelled when you turned the corner to the right and stood on a worn wood door with a sign that spelled "Open". Above the door there was another sign that spelled "The Bean Corner". You couldn't see inside because the coffee shop didn't have windows; that was weird. You imagined that place as a very dark and dirty place; the facade was neither pleasant nor reliable. But anyway you followed Darren, who opened the door. You got amazed as soon as you got into the place. It was neither dirty nor dark. The illumination came from the roof, which was a glass roof with a metal structure, Parisian style. At the same time, from the metal structure were hung plants of all colors and textures, giving the place an almost wild and natural appearance, generating a warm microclimate. In the centre of the place there was a large fountain, which gave the place a harmonious and soothing melody. What was unusual in that place was that it had no tables. Instead of tables and chairs, there were metal coffee tables and cushions to sit, and the floor was a carpeted floor. There was no background music because the sound from the fountain was the music and also the place had a small stage where a woman was singing and playing the piano. It was a dreamlike place. Darren looked at you amused and smiling, obviously because he noticed that before entering the coffee shop you had a little disgusting expression on your face and now it was the opposite. He led you to some coffee table near the fountain, still holding your hand and he made a gesture to tell you to sit there. You sat on one of the cushions and Darren sat in front of you. Once you both were sitting in front of each other, Darren placed his hand on the coffee table to grab your hand, still smiling. His eyes had a glow of happiness.

"Is a very cool place, isn't it?" Darren said, looking around.

"Is a damn hell of cool place." You answered, still astonished and completely delightful for being in that place. "How did you find this place?"

"Well, when I was…you know uhm…being recognized by some people, I couldn't do all the things that I used to do with Chuck whenever we were in NYC. So we decided to stay at the hotel where I was staying or at Lyla's house. But, you know, it wasn't the same. We wanted to hang out, like before but it was almost impossible. So Chuck had this friend…" Darren said, remembering something apparently. "Yeah, Chuck had this friend who used to come here because his friend is kind of naturalist and environmentalist; so he loved coming here. And also he worked here. He told us it was a quiet place, because all the people who come here come only to enjoy a relaxing time not to socialize or whatever. So yeah, we took his advice and we came here. We were all very excited and amazed because this place was so organic, man! We loved here and we were totally quiet and we could do all the things we wanted to do but we couldn't somewhere else. And here's even a stage, a damn stage where you can sing whenever you want!" Darren exclaimed extremely excited and smiling widely, what made you giggle.

"Wise man, Chuck's friend." You giggled, sweetened by his reaction. "I'm sure this place is gonna turn into my favorite place now. It's just so beautiful, flamboyant and eccentric. Everything is like…I don't know…like magical. I mean, you don't get to see places like this everywhere. It strikes me that not many people come here. Just wow. I wasn't expecting a place like this." You said still astonished.

"Well, points for me. I changed your mind. I can swear that you were totally disgruntled to come to a place like this. You should have seen your face before getting here and after getting here. It's like your face changed outright, like a dramatic change, man. For a moment I thought that when I got distracted some aliens abducted you and changed you for another person, or on these terms, they changed you for an intergalactic monster dressed up as a person. In fact I was about to ask you how Rumbleroar looks like in person." Darren said feigning seriousness and terror, raising his eyebrows and you laughed out loud. You loved this side of Darren, his random and goofy side. That was why you were sure you'd never get bored next to Darren.

"Sorry. I can't reveal the secret. All I can say is that Rumbleroar let me ride on his back because I'm a good student, like a smartass." You said mystically and spellbindingly while Darren smiled entertained.

"Hello, guys. What can I offer you?" A young lady asked politely with a smile, holding a notepad and a pen. You and Darren looked at the young lady.

"We'd want two chocolate-hazelnut macchiato with peppermint and chilli. And to eat we'd want a cranberry stuffing biscotti covered with chocolate and almonds." Darren answered for you, with a charming smile while you looked at him frowning and confused.

"Good choice." The young lady said smiling and taking note of the order. "I'll be right back with the order." The lady said, before turning around to leave.

"What the hell is all that? That's the weirdest and quirkiest order I've ever heard! I'm thinking that you're the intergalactic monster one." You said widening your eyes, totally dumbfounded while Darren started to laugh.

"Oh bullshit. I'm a starship ranger." Darren said still laughing by your astounded face. "I told you I used to come here very often. I tasted absolutely everything here and what I ordered is the best. You're gonna love it, it's kind of aphrodisiac. The combinations of flavours, sweet and spicy, totally can drive you crazy. Trust me. After all, this place isn't very usual so is reasonable that the order also isn't usual. And…who said that usual things are cool? That's shit. The more unusual the better." Darren winked at you.

"If I don't like it, I swear I'm gonna throw the coffee at your face." You said threateningly but jokingly.

"Oh please. I'd rather to get sticky in another way." Darren winked seductively at you.

"Oh, wanky. Apparently you don't need an aphrodisiac coffee; the whole place is aphrodisiac for you." You said mockingly.

"Or maybe you're aphrodisiac and I can't control myself from you." Darren said flirty and slinky, roaring in a tease.

"Is that the way to get the attention of a woman? Does it even work for you?" You laughed and shaking your head as soon as you saw Darren's reaction.

"You tell me. Does it work?" Darren said, giving you a sultry look.

"Not at all." You answered shrugging and pretending indifference.

"Oh no?" Darren said, looking at you with his puppy dog eyes on purpose. "That makes me really sad, you know?" He pouted adorably.

"You're such an ass." You said squinting and smiling amused. "I like asses, so. It's fine." You shrugged again and laughed softly.

"Oh! A new discovery! Let me ask you something..." Darren looked at you very sultry, raising an eyebrow. "Do you like my ass? Because I noticed you like to pinch it when you get horny. Now all makes sense."

"I can't believe this!" You laughed, widening your eyes in disbelief. "If you think that way I can totally assure you like mine."

"And oh damn hell how I love it! I was wondering when was going to be the time you'd find it out." Darren exclaimed exaggeratedly, looking at you totally amused.

"Awesome! Now I know your weak point and can have you grabbed by the balls." You said victorious.

"Actually I wouldn't mind if you do it." Darren winked in a kinky way, but funny.

"Has someone told you ever that you're the kinkiest man in the entire world?"

"No. But it's good to know. I'm a kinksual man. Sounds good." Darren said teasingly with a cocky smile.

"Remind me why I'm with you."

"Because you adore my totally lack of appropriate behavior. Because you love my goober side and because I'm extremely adorable and cute huggable man." Darren said overconfidently and smiling charmingly.

"Woah! Are you describing me the headmaster Zefron?" You said craftily, raising your eyebrows and rascally smiling.

"Duh! I love Zefron and when I grow up I wanna be like him." Darren teased you and both of you laughed.

You kept talking and teasing each other until the waitress arrived with your order. You weren't sure if you should drink that coffee because it looked really weird, but Darren told you it tasted good; but you should hesitate about Darren and his sense of taste because he wasn't a normal guy that liked normal things. Darren encouraged you to take a sip of your coffee and after a while of hesitating, you took a sip of that odd coffee. Oh crap. What the hell was this feeling? A very warm feeling started to run throughout your entire body. It was extremely spicy what made you redden; but at the same time it was very sweet that made you feel a delightful and pleasant sensation. You started to feel hot and flushed and you thought that was the aphrodisiac feeling Darren was talking about earlier. You exhaled and you felt as if you were sweating, all was ridiculously hot. Darren looked at you amused, smiling mischievously and raising an eyebrow.

"Told you that is aphrodisiac." Darren chuckled and took a sip of his own coffee.

"Oh heck, I think I'm in the middle of hell and Satan is trying to take over my body because is fucking hot, like it burns." You said, still inhaling and exhaling. "This is completely exhilarating."

You kept drinking your coffee because it was kind of addictive. You were trying to control all your feelings, but you barely could contain yourself of being horny and extremely extroverted. You didn't know how on the earth only a coffee could make you feel like this, but you gave up on trying to control yourself. Darren also was more extroverted than normal and both of you were being exceedingly flirty and sultry. You still couldn't believe that you were able to be this affective with Darren in a public place. But here no one seemed to pay attention of what you and Darren were doing or saying. It felt good to do this with Darren; and between that good feeling and that horny feeling, you were driving insane. In that moment nothing else mattered but you and Darren. Then the physical contact started with touching hands, hugs, necking and petting. Neither of you both cared that you were in a place where anyone could see you. It was as if you were locked inside a cloud. Then Darren nibbled your lower lip and looked at you wildly.

"I have an amazing idea." Darren said sultry.

Darren stood up and he grabbed your hand, making you to stand up. He pulled you to him and kissed you passionately before smiling naughtily. Then he ran with you, taking you to the stage. You looked at him in horror when you realized which his intentions were. But in that moment you were feeling extremely extroverted and wild so you didn't mind what you were about to do. You were feeling adventurous and willing to take any kind of risk. You barely could think what you were doing when you grabbed the microphone that Darren gave you and you and Darren started to sing like two loopy people. You were completely out of yourselves and you didn't care that now some people were staring at you both; cheering, singing and dancing. You didn't care that you now were gaining attention. When you finished singing, Darren pulled you into a fiercely kiss and you both started laughing. It didn't cross your mind in that moment that maybe it was the worst thing you could have done; it didn't cross your mind that maybe this whole situation could bring serious consequences. All that crossed your mind was that you were having a blast with the man you loved, acting naturally as you'd act if Darren were a normal and non-recognized person. Then Darren and you bowed to the impromptu audience and you came back to where you were sitting before, laughing out loud. You both started to talk about what recently happened, making fun of yourselves and the several clumsy moments you had on stage. Then Darren looked behind you, apparently a person was approaching and he knew that person, because Darren waved. You didn't turn around because you were trying to control your laughter.

"Chuck's friend, the one I talked you about earlier is coming here. You finally will meet the guy who at some point made this possible." Darren whispered at you and you nodded, but you didn't turn around, not even when you felt the presence of a human being behind you.

"Boogabear?" You heard behind you a very familiar man's voice.

All of a sudden your entire body started to tremble fiercely and your face turned pale reflecting frightfulness. You widened your eyes and you parted your lips that started to tremble preposterously. You started to pant, having difficulty breathing and the rhythm of your heart began to increase at a senseless speed. You were panicking, this wasn't possible. You haven't heard that voice since you were a little child; but that voice remained just as you remembered it.

"Boo, are you okay?" Darren asked concerned about your sudden change of mood.

You didn't answer him, you couldn't do it, and you couldn't utter a word because you were in shock. You slowly turned around to see the person who was behind you. Definitely the person who was behind you was the person that you were thinking about. He was the man that you recognized only by his voice. He was just as you remembered him, only more grown up; but he remained the man you remembered. Your eyes filled with tears that you couldn't contain. Your body was still trembling and you were still horrified. He was looking at you in shock.

"Sorry guys. Do you meet each other?" Darren asked frowning, very confused and bewildered.

"Y-yes." You stuttered in horror and with choked voice. "He's my older brother."

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