Once In A Lifetime (Lifetime Love)

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Chapter Five *Reality Check*

Darren's P.O.V.

As he brushed Emma's hair off her forehead, Darren couldn't stop the euphoria from spreading in his body. Emma was his. She was a virgin, but now, she was his. Darren couldn't halt the fear of what came next. For no other reason, except she might not want anything more. He couldn't shake the feeling that this would be the beginning and end. As Darren slowly, and delicately, ran his fingertips along her limbs, he allowed himself to dream.

In his dream, Emma was there, chasing a toddler. Her smile lit up her entire face. Darren wished he could stay here forever, in this dream world, where everything was exactly how it should have been.

When he woke, Emma was no longer wrapped around him. Darren felt immediately as if his world was ripped away. He sat for a moment, feeling more lonely than he had in years, before pulling his boxers on and began searching for Emma. When he found her, in her old bedroom, looking at old photographs from their high-school days.

"Now that right there is one awfully good looking couple." Snaking his arms around her waist, he smiled. The picture was from their junior year in high school. Prom. That was the year before Zoey moved to town. Darren couldn't believe a girl who was in and back out of his life so quickly would have had the power to change the whole course of his life.

"We were so happy then. So blind to the world." Sighing Emma placed the picture back on the wall amoung the other thousands.

"I know it's not enough Em, but I am so sorry for that night. So sorry I let Zoey come in between us. I have spent these last few years without you, wishing I could take it all back. I love you so much Em." Darren grabbed her hands and held them tight as they shook. The sadness in her eyes was just about the worst thing he had ever done to anyone. If there ever was a time he wished he could travel back to, it would have to be that night.

"I'm sorry i left. I should have stayed and faced my problems. Faced you and her," the venom dripped in her voice as Emma thought of her. "But I couldn't handle it. Im trying to now anyways." Darren couldn't help the smile that covered his face as he watched Emma. Her brow furrowed in a way that he knew she was working kinks out in her brain.

"I have to ask, not because you know i don't believe you, but just because," Darren wasn't positive if he should ask let alone why he was asking. He just had to know. "You said last night, you were a uh, uh, virgin still?" Darren couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes. He knew she would probably have an insane look in her eyes. He knew she wasn't lying, he wasn't daft. He had felt it when her hyman had broken, felt her body stiffen and then relax with the ebb and flow of whatever pain that brought. What was killing him inside was why she was still a virgin.

"Technically, you lost the right to know these things about me," Darren knew she wasn't wrong. He had no right to ask why she did or didn't choose to have a sex life after she left. Hell he was beyond happy he was her first. "But, it just never felt...right." Darren had his own victorious chant going on in his head while Emma led him back to the rest of their clothes.

"I am so glad you didn't toss me out Em, I would have deserved it, but I'm so glad you didn't." Darren couldn't keep the stupid ass grin off his face as he dressed.

"I am too. But Darren, this doesn't change anything. I only came back for my Dad. Once he's better, I have a whole life far away from here, one I'm not ready to give up. It would never work," Emma caressed his cheek as she spoke, but the blow of the words hit him hard. "You understand, don't you?" He nodded his head, all words escaping him momentarily. Darren felt, for lack of a better word, used. All of his fears were true. In the distance, he heard the ring of a phone and felt Emma leave the room without even glancing at her.

It felt excruciatingly painful to be honest. Maybe he deserved it. Or didn't. Darren didn't give Emma the chance to bruise him further, before she was off of the phone he was gone. Walking slowly to his house, maybe he could just drown himself in some whiskey. Beer wouldn't be strong enough for this pain. As he entered his home, poured himself a shot and sat. Sat and thought. For what felt like hours. What his brain finally came up with, was, if he no longer wanted to feel this pain flow threw his veins like blood, then he had to just forget about her. Let her go. Right? Her father would get better, she would leave and they would both move on.

Except for the smallest detail, Darren knew with every fiber in his body that he was in love with Emma. After having sex, it made it even clearer. He was no virgin, but the sex they had was the most satisfying experience he had ever encountered. It was like they were literally one. How they should be and should have been. Now all she wants is a big city life, big city job and probably big city boyfriend. Why couldn't she just love him and love this town how she used to. They used to sit up for days, planning their whole future right here in this small town.

Finally finishing that first whiskey he poured hours earlier, Darren decided he better get some sleep or the store definitely would be closed tomorrow. Settling into bed, he wished for Emma's warmth next to him. His whole body ached to be close to her. He fell asleep that night head full of old and new memories alike of Emma, her face flushed with pleasure eventually being on repeat.
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