Anastasia and Darren walked hand-in-hand into the front door where two men were stationed just inside the doorway.

"Weapon check." He whispered to her.

Darren stepped away from her and up to one of the men. He greeted the guard with the name "Christian." The guard looked over at Anastasia and winked, he was one of the good guys. The other guard placed his hands on Anastasia's torso and ran them down the length of her body in a less than professional manor. He ran his hands back up and over her chest none too briskly. Stas flexed her jaw and kept her mouth shut while she waited for him to finish. His hands left her body briefly while she turned around then they were back on her, running down her rigid back, over her hips, and onto her bum. She yelped when he gave it a squeeze.

"Watch it Josh!" Christian barked.

Josh grinned like a little kid caught red handed and stepped away. Darren immediately wrapped his arm around her, push her more towards Christian, and setting himself in between her and Josh. Darren shot Josh a glare and guided Anastasia in front of him, effectively blocking off his view as they went.

Further into the home was an open room with a very high ceiling and an ornate chandelier hanging from it. They stepped forward onto the hard floors, Anastasia white heels clicking loudly, the room was filled with a very nice table with plenty of food and around the room couches and loveseats were scattered holding various people. A man with graying, brown, curly hair was roaming from person to person mingling with his guest. He was a medium sized man with a very sturdy looking body.

"That is Jay." Darren whispered into Anastasia's ear. "All of the people here tonight are the higher ups of Jay's empire. They are all of the people we need to kill." He continued lowly.

Anastasia stiffened and took a quick intake of breath. She looked up at Darren's face her eyes wide, but his face only held a grim expression.

"Our orders were to subdue them by any means. We cannot let any of them leave this house." He amended, but she could see the anger in his eyes, he would have no aversion to putting a bullet into any one of his antagonizers' heads.

Anastasia looked away before she broke down.

A crackle sounded in their ears and then Officer Kent's voice sounded Remember, no news is good news.

Anastasia nodded as she searched the room for Kent in the crowd. She found him in the corner talking to a woman with short blond hair and a long body. When their eyes met he tipped his head in acknowledgement before smoothly letting his eyes drift back to the woman he was speaking with.

Soon enough another man approached the couple and he identified himself as Ryan. He shook hands with Darren and introduced himself to Anastasia politely then he made a quick departure. Jay finally made his way to them with a sarcastic smile plastered to his face.

"What a great pleasure to finally meet the beautiful girlfriend. Darren has been keeping all the beauty to himself." He stepped to Anastasia and took her hand. "Darren never really was very good at sharing." He kissed her hand. "No one ever dared to cross onto Dare's territory." He kept his eyes trained on her and never released her hand.

Anastasia could not help, but flinch in response to Jay's words.

"We came, what do you want?" Darren addressed him coldly causing Anastasia to look up at him.

"Oh you're so impatient. You always ruin the fun." Jay griped. "Everyone!" He raised his voice and the room went quite. "I'd like you to meet Darren's little girlfriend that he's been so rudely hiding from us." He smiled ruthlessly. He was shorter than Darren, but just as intimidating. "Say hello to Anastasia!" He commanded.

A murmur swept across the room.

"So, what do you say we give her a warm welcome?"

"Don't touch her Jay." Darren said a voice more commanding and menacing than she had ever heard.

"Tsk tsk Darren you are walking a very fine line dear boy. Don't forget who is in charge here. Maybe you've forgotten what I'm capable of."

"No Jay I haven't forgotten what you are capable of and that is why you aren't going to touch her." Darren once again separated her from Jay.

Anastasia watched as many people started to file out of the room, on second glance she realized they were all women. The only people left were "higher ups."

"Mighty strong willed over this little girl." He laughed, but anger was beginning to bleed over, "It is quite refreshing actually."

Christian has just entered the room. Kent's voice informed.

Darren could feel the eyes on him.

"Christian, Ryan!" Jay ordered, jerking his head towards Darren.

Within seconds Christian and Ryan had Darren's arms and Jay had pulled Anastasia up against him.

"Keep him still boys and keep him watching." Jay commanded. "You've got a pretty little body Miss Anastasia. I'd love to see it up close."

Anastasia whimpered while Darren roared jerking against his human restraints. Keep calm Darren. Kent's voice was heard in friends' ears. Along with that Christian and Ryan were chanting for Darren to calm down in his ears quietly. Despite all of this he could not calm down. He kept his eyes locked with Anastasia's. He felt helpless seeing the terror and anxiousness in her eyes. He would not let her eyes go if it was the last thing he did.

Jay smirked loving the reaction he was getting. The men all over the room were murmuring and he was getting all the attention he craved. He took a slight step away from Anastasia to admire her from behind. "Stay still little Anastasia." He stepped forward again and gathered all of her hair to push it over her shoulder. The cool air rushed onto her neck, but she had never felt so hot in her life with all of the adrenaline coursing through her veins. She felt the man's hands roam up her back to the very top of her dress where there was a single button. He undid it brusquely then went to the zipper. He tugged on it and the dress became considerably looser. Anastasia gasped at the cold air that rushed onto her flamed skin.

"I swear to God Jay! I'm going to fucking kill you! Stop it! Stop it! Get the fuck off of her!" Darren thrashed at the top of his lungs.

"He's a passionate one isn't he?" Jay whispered into her ear. "He must make an incredible lover in the bedroom. One of these days he'll have to show us."

Darren watched her eyes widen even more and the absolute horror that flashed across them. She kept her eyes glued to Darren using him as the only anchor to keep her in this room. Prepare. Kent's voice whispered.

Jay laughed behind Anastasia enjoying Darren's little show.


"Come here!" Darren shouted at Anastasia just as both Christian and Ryan let his arms loose and they pulled out their guns.

A cry of surprise went around the room and then gun shots were heard. The only thing that Anastasia registered was that she was running into Darren's arms and he was going to catch her. She kept her eyes only on him, avoiding sight of the warzone. A feeling like no other washed over her when she smashed into Darren and felt his arms wrap around her securely. "Close your eyes." Darren told her. Get her out. Then they were running he pushed forward and when they were in the foyer he turned her around and looked her in the eyes.

"Keep running, get into the car, and stay low." He told her frantically.

He looked over her shoulder where Josh was on the floor with a bullet hole through his head.

"Shit." He muttered. When Anastasia begun to turn his grip tightened. "Don't look down. Now go!"

She wanted to complain and say that she wanted to stay, but she knew she would be better off out of the way. She nodded quickly, turned, and bolted outside.

Darren crouched down to Josh and picked up the gun that was in his hand. Back in the open room, Kent had managed to shoot four people that surrounded him when the fighting broke out, but there was still as ratio of twelve to four since Darren had re-entered. Darren came in firing, hitting two people upon entrance. Ryan and Christian were aiming too, gunning a sum of five men down between the two. Bullets were flying back and forth between the two sides, sounding through the house and down the hallways, flashing in the window from the outside. The people that went down were not necessarily dead, but they were made to be of no threat.

Anastasia hoped to God that Darren stayed safe as she ran into the night. Out of nowhere a hand clamped over mouth and ripped her off of the ground. Her arms were bound by a thick arm around her middle. She was dragged kicking and screaming back to the house. Just as the last shot rang out they entered back into the house. On the way back in she could not avoid seeing the lifeless body of Josh lying on the floor. She cried out, but the sound did not make it past the meaty hand of her restrainer. They busted into the open room where Kent, Ryan, Christian, and Darren all stood spread across the room with their guns still trained in front of them, breathing hard from the adrenaline coursing through them. Everyone, but them, were one the floor. Darren dropped his gun. The man's hand disappeared quickly and then she felt cold metal press into her temple.

"Darren!" She cried out.

His head whipped in her direction. Lightning fast he reached down and the gun strapped to his leg was in his hand in second as the other three's guns trained on Drago.

"Put her down Drago! You won't win this." Darren reasoned.

"I win if she dies." He cocked the gun against her temple. Tears blurred in her eyes as a sound of pure fear bled from her lips.

"Darren." She whimpered.

"Oh look at the star crossed lovers! You both already know what happened to Romeo and Juliet."

"Where is Baron? He's never far behind you Drago!"

"You sure that you haven't already killed him!" He screamed.

Kick, elbow, bite him anything. Just get out of his grip Anastasia!

Anastasia took a deep breath knowing very well that if she failed she would be dead. Then she was thrashing and concentrated all of her effort and force into the heel that she dug straight into his groin. He howled and dropped her. As soon as she hit the floor, painfully on her knees, she curled into a ball. All at once four shots rang out; she jumped in response to each one.

She peaked out and in the distance she heard sirens.

"Son of bitch!" An angry and despaired voice rang out across the room.

Darren was moving in a second, Ryan right behind him. Baron was on the other side of the room and Christian was the closest to him. Baron's gun was trained on Anastasia who had slammed her eyes closed. Darren's body covered hers and then a shot fired followed by another then deathly silence. Darren had flinched above Anastasia making her fear the worst. She wiggled from under him and realized that he was not the one hit. She looked over at Ryan who was on his back his eyes above him. Anastasia's face bled of color as she watched a flower of red bloom from his lower torso.

"Ryan!" Darren scrambled the few feet from her and reached out for Ryan. He pulled his head into his lap while he ripped open Ryan's button up shirt. A police vest was under it and Darren gingerly pulled it away. The other two were at their sides in a second. Christian crouched next to Darren. "It went through!" He cried out.

The last thing Anastasia remembered was Kent's arm pulling her into him.

When she came to a little bit later she heard Darren's frantic voice and Officer Kent consoling him.

"Darren calm down. She was put under a lot of stress tonight. The EMTs have already checked her out. Her body knows what she needs. Let her recover." Her eyes fluttered. "See there you go, she's coming around. Don't stress her out Darren you need to stay calm for her."

When her eyes fully opened, Officer Kent was standing up from his crouched position next to the passenger side of the car that she was sitting inside of. Her hand shot out and took his hand.

"Officer. Is Ryan okay?" She asked weakly.

"He will be Ms. Morrison. You were incredible tonight. It was a pleasure to serve next to you." He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Feel better Anastasia."

"Thank you Officer Kent." She released his hand.

When he walked away Darren was next to Anastasia in a second. "Hey, babydoll. How are you feeling?" His voice was far calmer than his conversation with Officer previously.

"I'm fine. Did everything go okay? Did you… get… the people you needed to?" She asked feeling her stomach roll.

"Let's not talk about that Anastasia. Just let me take you home."

"Are you going to stay?" She sounded hopeful.

He analyzed her expression for a bit before answering cautiously, "only if you want me to."

"I always want you to."

He nodded and kissed her quickly before rushing to the driver's side.

Back in the house, Darren closed the door behind them and stood awkwardly awaiting directions. She pulled his hand, guiding him up into her room. The silence was deafening. In her room, she began to unbutton Darren's shirt. He looked down at her gauging her like she was an experimental reaction that he had to monitor. When she was finished she pushed it off his shoulders. His body tensed when her fingertips touched his belt and he took her small hands in his.

She looked up at him, "What?"

"Officer Kent told me that you're still in shock and that you'll probably try to jump my bones."

She giggled. "I'm not trying to jump your bones. I don't have to be in shock to try to jump your bones and even if I wanted to I know you won't let me. Besides you've been like the walking dead since we got into the car, watching me like a fucking hawk."

He analyzed for a few seconds more before saying," I might have killed a lot of those people tonight. Aren't you scared of me?"

"Scared of you? You mean Darren, the one who cried when we watched "Bambi" That one? Yeah I'm terrified." She said sarcastically.

His face split into a smile. "Good." He picked her up in a hug. "I love you so damn much Anastasia."

"Ditto, crybaby."

After changing out of their Winter Formal clothes they wiggled under the covers and snuggled up to each other. Anastasia laid her head on his chest and traced shapes on his skin with her fingertip. He stared up at the ceiling, thinking about how much he missed her, and stroked her hair. They lied in silence just soaking up each other's presence. Finally Anastasia broke it with a question:

"Darren, so how's it goin' ta' be?" She stopped her movement and propped herself up on her elbow to look at his face.

He smiled and looked down at her before launching into their future, together of course.

A week later Anastasia's mother came home and when she was informed of what had happened she had very mixed feelings about Darren. On one hand, he took care of her baby girl and kept her safe. On the other, he was the one to cause all of it, sort of. She was just amazed that her daughter had gone through all of that and had not said a word to her, not even of the break-up. Her mother was feeling like she was not doing a very good job of taking care of her child. The two of them always had a great relationship, but she was afraid that she was losing her daughter. Not that her daughter was going out of control, but they just did not speak like they used to. Jean was bent set on making the most of her time while she was home. And when she left again she would make sure to call her daughter a lot more. She realized that as her daughter grew older she had pulled away knowing that she would need the space as a teenage girl, but she came to the conclusion that she was giving her too much room.

Darren and Anastasia also visited Ryan while he was in the hospital. Anastasia had to convince Darren to take her since he believed that it would only cause trauma from the night. Ryan was happy to see the couple. He thanked them both for their parts in what happened, but they were much more thankful for his presence. If he had not been there to shield Darren's body with his own there might be a very different alternate reality. Ryan did not have to stay in the hospital for very long. The bullet managed to miss anything important and did not go very far thanks to his police vest. The people that were not killed were put in jail and their trials were quick considering the amount of evidence they had stacked up against them. They were going away for a very long time and not one of them was getting parole. All in all, it did not take a long time for things to go relatively back to normal.

"But why is it so far?" Whined Anastasia.

They were sitting at Darren's house with his band mates and the girlfriends.

"Ana it's the closest bandstand that's happened yet. It is a chance for us." Darren explained yet again.

"But I just got you back."

"And I you, but babe."

"I know I know. I'm just being whiney; I'm on my period deal with it." She said sourly.

Everyone began laughing as they sunk into the natural conversation that they usually held.

"You know, Stas, you being so open about your bodily changes is making Lilah far more open with me. Not sure if I like it." Lilah's boyfriend piped.

"Yeah Justine, too." Her boyfriend agreed.

"Oh shut up." Justine pushed at her boyfriend.

"Are you creating a band war in there Ana!" Darren called from the kitchen. "I know you don't want me to go, but don't break up the band!" He joked as the doorbell rang.

"Open!" he called.

The door open followed by some giggling and hushed words. "Sorry we're late!" Jules called out.

"Got a little caught up in each other." Mike's voice was muffled in what sounded like her neck.

"Honeymoon phase." Lilah shook her head with a smile.

Darren, Mike and Jules entered the room. Darren and Mike were smiling and whispering about something and Jules, red-faced, moved quickly over to Stas' side.

"You two are like a pair of animals during mating season." Stas murmured to her rapidly reddening friend.

It was incredible to see her friend like this. Anastasia, in all the time that they had been friends, had never seen Jules so, well, girlfriend-y. Mike made Jules glow and he balanced her friend's eccentrics perfectly. For the time being, they were each other's other halves. Together they made a complete and equal whole. It was incredible.

The next week the boys left for their seven hour drive. Stas and Darren talked all night every night. The boys were doing incredibly well. The bandstand was going on for about two weeks. Everyone loved them. They actually had an incredible chance at winning. If they won that meant a record deal and a great sum of cash. Jane had not let Darren forget about school while he was there. Stas and Darren's phone conversations were partially doing homework and going over things he did not understand from his school books. All of his teachers were accommodating, agreeing to let him turn in all the work he would be missing when he got back. Things were doing pretty great actually.

The Winter Formal incident was never mentioned, but both of them, just for a second, would look at each other or think about the other and cringe. Knowing someone was responsible for deaths was hard and in turn knowing that the person you care about knows that you have killed is difficult. The couple was not strained, but there was something there that neither of them spoke about.

Soon it started to take a toll. By the second week of his absence they had begun arguing. They never even knew what they were arguing about. Whenever they hung up the phone it was after they had begun yelling at each other. When Ana talked about it with Jules put it off to the fact that they had just gotten back together and they were missing each other. But how could you miss someone yet you spend your time that you get to talk to him yelling.

He was just as baffled by it as she was. Maybe it was a sign. They had sprung into the relationship rather hastily and though it had not been caustic, the relationship was quite turbulent. He wondered that the reason for their ups and downs might be the rush. They constantly split and reunited, but it was only because they loved each other so much. Right? Darren tried to keep the subject out of his mind while he was away, hoping that they were just unhappy that they were apart.

"Goddammit Darren fine! Goodbye!"

"Jesus Christ Ana!" He yelled in turn. There was silence and then he took a deep breath. "I love you."

"I love you too." She answered still angrily despite her words.

"Bye." And then the conversation was over.

Darren slammed his phone down on the hotel bed. His band mate poked his head through the door sheepishly.

"Hey bud. What's up? You okay? You wanna talk 'bout it?" He spoke as if trying to placate a sullen child.

"Fuck off, Ray." He sighed without much force as he pinched the bridge of his nose.

Ray shrugged into the room that the two boys shared and sauntered over to his suitcase. Darren focused his attention back onto his homework, trying to make sense of the numbers on his paper. After a few minutes of annoyance he pushed his notebook and pencil away then slammed his book closed. In the time, Ray had walked over to his own bed and pulled his laptop onto his lap and put his glasses on. The room remained quiet for a bit until Darren picked up his guitar and started softly strumming the strings. The tune was unfamiliar to his friend and it interested him. The tune distinctly held a note of confusion and frustration. After a bit, Ray could not take it. He closed his laptop and turned to his friend.

"It's going to be better." He said with a straight face then headed into the bathroom.

"You're like the wise teacher with those glasses on!" He yelled after his mate while trying to relax.

"That's only because all of you are so fucking stupid." He yelled back as the shower turned on.

"Rude!" He called back, but it was doubtful that Ray had heard over the water.

So yeah, hey guys. I am sort of back. I was trying really hard to finish the story before I posted anything more, but that is just not how it happened. Looking back I saw that it has almost been a year since my last update, because of this I decided I needed to give you something. Here it is. Yes, this couple is yet again facing some difficulties. They just can't catch a break, but that is kind of the point of their whole relationship, I think. Anyway, thank you for reading and please please please tell me what you think :)

R & R