A Special Star

Pawns are played in a chess game like decoys, you watch your opponent use the pawns and marvel at how stupid they could be for making that move, until you hear “Checkmate” and you realize what they did, and you ponder how you could have let them….

That’s how Sydney felt, like a pawn, a measly pawn in this great game of chess she was living. Why did she let this happen? Back and forth she let her self move, sliding around the board not sure where she was going next, but now it felt more like someone had gotten angry and threw the chess board on the wall, leaving her, the measly pawn, broken and on the ground.

“I don’t understand why he recommended this.” Sydney sighed, ‘It’s not my fault I’m depressed, s*** happens.’ Her thoughts went from confusion to anger as she spoke to the flaxen haired woman in front of her. “Dr. Navaro, I realize agent Kendall wants me to talk to someone, but I truly feel fine.” Eyes were rolling, breath forced and heavy. “Sydney, I realize that, but it’s mandatory if asked by a ranking officer.” The psychiatrist was nice enough, yet Sydney had never felt good talking about her problems to other people, it made her feel whiney. “Yes, my world has fallen apart the past few days, but I know how to deal with my problems. I don’t need help.” Sydney looked the woman straight in the eye while telling her why she shouldn’t be in the office, yet the doctor kept an imperialistic look upon her face. “Fine, Agent Bristow, if you feel that way, you can leave.” A stony expression stayed on her features, and Sydney nodded and left the room.

Finally outside Syd let a relieved sigh fall out her mouth. Yet the more she thought about it the more she wanted back in that little stuffy room with over stuffed chairs and pictures of the ocean on the wall. It was safer than in these halls, where everyone knew what happened, and gave her looks of sympathy, disgust, or wonderment. She was about to turn the cold handle and walk back in when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Sydney?” As a voice penetrated the silence Syd jumped, and turned around quickly ready to back hook kick anyone threatening. “Syd, I just heard, I’m sorry.” Another agent, dressed in a stunning suit smiled at her. “Thank you.” Sydney forced the words out like she had every time before that. The man nodded and began his way down the hall again. ‘Well there goes that idea.’ Syd thought to herself as she too started back down the hall.

A familiar display stopped her, and made her catch her breath. It was one she passed often, and always stopped to look at. The CIA building contained numerous cases filled with pictures, flags, and medals of deceased or retired agents, but this one was her favorite.

A marble backing lined the case, and spaced in equal intervals were single five pointed stars, each with a name on them. Agents who had died on duty had their names placed on these stars as homage to what they did for their country and the agency. Syd had studied this display hundreds of times, and she realized what was different about it, there was one more star. ‘Oh God.’ She mumbled, and felt as if she was going to be sick. There in front of her was the newest fallen star, she stared at it as if it was going to disappear, but she knew it was there to stay. Shiny and golden the new star read what she dreaded to see….”Michael Vaughn”

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Chapter 2

Syd closed her eyes and willed herself not to loose it right here, in the middle of the hallway, let herself fall to the floor and cry until tears were no longer able to form beneath her chocolate brown eyes. Every ounce of self control made her stand straight, bow her head then walk away, hoping to God no one decided to talk to her at that moment. Any word would send the floodgates rushing open.

Walking as fast as she could Sydney wandered the hallways, she had a favorite spot and knew exactly how to navigate herself on autopilot until she was there. A special corner in the bowels of the offices, she and Vaughn had spent more than one special moment there, and no one knew that every time she felt the chess game of her life was beginning to get too hard, that corner served as a pillow.

Breaking into almost a run she trotted to the stuffy corner, she knew every nook and she turned on a heel to make sure she wasn’t followed. Syd and Vaughn new this corner was one of the few that could not be seen by security cameras. Out of reach, almost nonexistent, yet it was special to both of them. As Syd let herself tumble to the ground she felt her blazer ride up on her stomach, her pants shorten, and her hands catch her fall, a tinny sound echoing when her ring hit the marble floors. That sound made her cringe, the ring, what it stood for; she almost threw up then and there. After days of keeping what she felt inside the doors opened and she began to sob. Crying was something Sydney wasn’t used to, it was something foreign to her, it made her nervous but she knew how to deal with it; when other people were that is. The second she began to cry there was no tomorrow.

There was no stopping this crying. Tears ran in intervals so close together they couldn’t be counted, breathing was heaving for air almost drowning in the saline drops, and every emotion ran through her head like racehorses. As she threw her head back she let out a muffled scream, one that expressed everything that had happened the past five days, one that seemed almost unreal until that moment, where everything opened and the scabs on her inner wounds ripped off. Never had she cried like this, not even for Danny, anger was all she felt with him, but this was pure agony, sorrow, and grief. Agents were taught to keep their feelings inside, to hold it all in, be professional and handle it like a statue. If Kendall or any ranking officer, even though there were few above her in this office, saw her she would for sure be in a psych ward for weeks.

But how sane can you be when something so horrible has happened? Even the most composed person would be shaken up, and Syd knew that usually she could take this. But Vaughn meant so much to her, more than any other person in the world. He helped her deal with Francie, he helped her handle Will and his growing attachment to her, but most of all he was just there. Never hesitant to let her fall into his arms he made her feel like the only person on the planet. The way he held her, touched her, looked into her eyes, everything stopped for a moment, the way love felt in the stories her mother had read to her. She felt like a princess around him, and he encouraged it. Always doing discreet things to make her happy, a single rose on her desk at work, gorgeous earrings left on her pillow the morning after, or her favorite, the ring on her finger given to her at the restaurant in Paris where their romance began.

Syd toyed with that very ring as she willed herself to calm down, making every thought push out of her brain and away from her heart, forcing herself to focus on the task at hand. “God, I must look like a bomb went off.” She whispered to herself, no amount of “waterproof” makeup could have withstood the tears she just cried. Another advantage to her secret corner was the bathroom was all of two steps away. As she stood up, and pushed that horrible feeling into her stomach, Syd went into the bathroom, preparing herself for the meeting before her.

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Chapter 3

Sauntering out of the bathroom Syd tried to regain her composure, regain that confident strut in her walk, and regain that poised look on her face. What ever she looked like she hoped it was normal. She didn’t realize that she spent a half an hour in that corner, sitting, crying, and reminiscing. Her new Club Monaco suit was wrinkled, and she looked completely unprofessional. She had no makeup with her and all her mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow were nonexistent. “I can’t believe I did that.” Syd thought to herself, “Especially before such an important meeting. God, I’m an idiot.” Sydney hurried back through the halls trying to flatten her suit coat, and burst into the conference room, sending threatening glares all in her direction.

“Sydney, you’re late.” Kendall informed Syd, his words cutting like a knife, almost sending her into another spasm of sobs. “I’m sorry, thank you for waiting.” Kendall nodded as she sat down next to her father who for once in his life gave her a sympathetic look. Jack knew exactly what happened but tried to keep himself distanced when emotions were involved, and Syd knew he never managed to say the right thing. All around her were ranking military and government officers, usually she felt confident surrounded by these men. Syd knew she was just as, if not more, smart that they were, and she never let their chauvinistic stares get her down. But today she felt like a scared little girl, wanting to run out of the office and cry some more.

Taking a deep breath she smiled and swiveled her head to make sure each one got a flash of her dimples. Smiling drained every ounce of energy she had and once the men got a look at her smile she dropped her head in defeat, but Kendall’s sharp voice snapped it up again.

“Sydney, you know why you’re here?” A sigh accidentally passed her lips as she nodded, every single word made her want to cry again. She was never this emotional, why did it have to happen now, at work, in front of people whom she respected. Kendall began to talk describing what she herself was going to describe when she had to get up in front of them also. She periodically sighed as Kendall elaborated on what happened, and cringing when his, Vaughn’s, name came up in any context. Her father watched her with a wandering eye, flinching when she did. Jack new how she felt, on many levels, yet thought his daughter would handle it better. Sydney tried to keep her mind blank as the bald man continued to talk.

Over and over again, the story he was telling seemed like Chinese torture, worse than suit and glasses had ever subjected her to. Sydney ran her index finger along the rim of her water glass, wishing it was wine, or even good vodka. She wasn’t a drinker, yet at that very moment her mouth seemed to be asking, begging, for something with alcohol content, a chilled bottle of Dasani wasn’t going to cut it. She chuckled; if Weiss was there he’d pull out a flask from his inside pocket and ask her if she wanted a swig. Where was he when she needed him? Nothing seemed right; usually Sydney could look at the bright side of things, always the optimist, right now she just wanted to jump off the end of the world. “Sydney? Sydney!?” Kendall’s loud voice shattered her daydream forcing her to look up sheepishly. “I have explained what happened; now it’s your turn to tell the story. If you would.” Sydney gulped air as if she was about to go underwater, and stood up, receiving a sympathetic look from Jack as she rose to her shaky feet.
Chapter 4

The moment Syd stood up she felt light headed, but she ignored it and slowly marched to the head of the table. Each face she passed seemed more and more resentful to her, each one seeming to say “Leave” or “b****”, for once she felt completely uncomfortable in front of them. Reaching the head of the table her skull felt like it was about to split in two. “Scratch the vodka.” Syd thought to herself and chuckled, making more heads turn and her face to snap up. Looking into the men’s stony glares she began to speak “Vaughn...” but that was all she got out before her eyes got big, and all of a sudden the room began to close in, her peripheral vision fading black, and she crumpled like a rag doll onto the cold floor.

Sydney woke up in her father’s office, on the stiff black leather couch stretched out at the end the cramped square space. Her head felt as if someone had taken AK-47 and hit her with the barrel, which had happened before. Not wanting to open her eyes, photophobia plagued her vision. A cold compress lay on her forehead and something was on her legs, daring to open one soar eye she looked around. The room was too bright, always too bright, yet it seemed the sun was directly in front of her. As she regained her bearings what had happened just moments before all came rushing back to her.

Tears started streaming down her face, contrasting with the coolness of the washcloth they burned like hot coals on her cheeks. Closing her eyes she began to sob again, she cried for herself, for Vaughn, for what she did and what she didn’t do. Everything was different, and yet she knew how to handle differences this was not the same. Her world was upside down, and every time her mind wandered, it strayed right back to that evening when chess became a horrible game, especially when it was played with one’s life.

“Syd? You coming around?” Snapping back to attention, Sydney looked up at her father’s concerned gaze. “Do you remember anything about what happened?” Syd cringed and nodded, trying not to make eye contact with the tall figure before her. “I’m fine. Can I please go home?” Jack continued to stare at Sydney’s face, making each second that ticked by feel like an eternity. “Yes, Kendall said when you woke up you could go home.” A relieved sigh slipped from between Syd’s lips, feeling as though the weight of the world had lifted from her shoulders.

Staggering to her feet Syd tossed the scratchy wool blanket from her bare shoulders. Jack must have taken her new blazer off, leaving only her sleeveless, turtleneck, cashmere sweater to cover her. Her feet felt as if they had blocks of cement on them, and her legs added to the weight. “Oh God.” She groaned, stumbling clumsily from the leather couch to the sliding door of her father’s office. “Thanks Dad, and tell Kendall I apologize. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Jack nodded, still looking deeply concerned for his faltering daughter. He knew this had hurt her badly, never before had he seen her so frazzled. He wanted to hold her up, to be the rock she leaned on, but he knew it was too late, even now, to do such a thing.

“Goodbye Sydney, feel better.” Jack watched as his daughter walked from his office, realizing that now, more than ever, she was so vulnerable. Never had he seen Sydney so defenseless, she usually had an aura about her that made her confident, even when she was depressed. But this one time, Syd seemed broken down more than ever and he wondered if she’d ever be the same.
Chapter 5

Falling through the door, Sydney stared at the apartment that she had once loved so much. Now it just reminded her of everyone who had betrayed, hurt, or deceived her. She was used to it being the other way around, but the second SD-6 was destroyed everything had changed. Now when she could be truthful to the friends she thought she had, they were lying to her. First Francie, a cold-hearted clone of her once passionate friend, Syd had to kill the look alike, which was one of the hardest things she ever did. Shivering at the thought Syd tried to push those thoughts out of her mind as she slammed the door behind her, hopefully closing herself as well.

Throwing her purse on the kitchen table Syd grabbed a bottle of wine off the abstract wine rack given to her by her father. It was twisted and mangled, a mess of steel and glass. She loved it the second she saw it, the sculpture reminded her of life. Distorted and garbled, that’s the way Syd looked at existence. Yet in the eyes of the correct beholder it was beautiful and purposeful. A bottle of red would have to be the replacement of humanly comfort tonight, it was an aged bottle one she had picked up on a mission in France. With Vaughn.

Popping the cork Syd poured herself a generous glass, watching as the smooth mauve liquid slid from the container. She was trying to focus on anything but her feelings, no one thought this hard when dumping alcohol for pleasure, except Syd. She made her mind center on anything but what she was actually thinking. Too much wine filled the glass she held as Syd walked to the inviting couch. She placed the sparkling crystal goblet onto her homely coffee table and staggered back to the kitchen. Ripping the box of comfort food, Syd threw a bag of Kettle Corn into the microwave. It was her favorite when something was wrong; nothing was like sharing a bowl with Vaughn. She chuckled to herself remembering the countless times half of the popcorn ended up on the ground when they would try to toss the kernels into each other’s mouth. Laughter had once filled these rooms, as did the sounds of their passion.

Trying to shake the creeping feeling of sadness, Syd threw on her favorite Dave Matthews CD. Listening to Dave croon always made her smile, and if anything was going to pull her out of this mood it was him. Peeling herself out of the stiff work suit, Syd climbed into a pair of comfy Juicy pants and a tank top, mounting her hair upon her head in a messy bun just as the smoke alarm screamed for her attention. Dashing back to the kitchen smoke rose from the appliance, and her Kettle Corn dreams were smashed. Laughing at the irony of it all, Syd threw the hot bag of once delectable popcorn into the garbage, vowing for something stronger. Tapping her foot to the song playing, Syd gyrated to the freezer. A big bowl of cookie-dough ice cream seemed more appropriate for this night, and nothing was better than alcohol and ice-cream. Eating her cares away Syd danced and drank all night, all by her-self. Some would have called it sad, to see such a sight as her drunk and stuffed, but it was exactly the release she needed.

Tumbling on the couch Syd let everything off her shoulders and allowed herself to relax. Laughing at her own immaturity and silliness, tears of joy, and sadness, flooded her cheeks. Releasing every pent up feeling felt so good, as if the weight of the world was off her breaking back, and although she was drunk and did not remember half of what happened then and there, she forgave herself. Subconsciously Syd forgave herself for her mother, for Francie, for not being perfect, but most of all, for Vaughn.
Chapter 6

Cold and dark, that’s all Syd felt. Hanging from a flimsy wire 100 ft in the air was a difficult task, especially when trying to restrain herself from reaching into her holster and pulling the trigger over and over again on the man she despised. Through an immaculate stained glass window Syd could see Arvin Sloane. He sat poised and cool, smiling slightly, the kind of smile that made her want to vomit. Arvin laughed at something the man across from him said then swiftly retrieved his gun and shot him in the head, all within the blink of an eye. Syd almost fainted, right then and there, but she regained her composure and watched what happened. Sloane walked slowly around the table and forced the man’s limp body upright. Carefully drawing a knife from his pocket he proceeded to slit his abdomen open, revealing his open stomach contents. She tried to restrain from radioing Vaughn and pleading for an extraction team, but Sydney knew this mission was crucial. Watching Sloane rustle through Sark’s bodily fluids was not something Syd enjoyed. She watched in horror as Arvin recoiled his hand with the prize clutched in his dumpy fingers.

Within his fist was a small ruby object. Glistening in the church light it looked as if Sloane was holding crystallized blood; it was that deep red in color. Letting her mouth drop open Syd gazed at the object in pure wonderment. It was gorgeous, the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, forgetting the fact that it had just emerged from a once living being’s stomach. It was naturally cut like a perfect diamond, each facet reflecting light from every direction. Sloane had such a resilient look on his face he looked like a toddler who finally got his hands in the cookie jar. Again, using all her self control, Syd restrained from openly slaughtering the man.

Glancing back at the gem, it looked even more beautiful now that Syd looked at it. Using one of her binoculars she gazed upon the magnificent jewel. It was a deep red in color, maybe the size of her palm, not much bigger. It shimmered in the candle-light of the cathedral. Etched within the ruby red it had flecks of gold and platinum, making it seem almost laced with metal. It looked man made, but she knew nothing but the earth had created this. It was what Rambaldi had been working on this whole time; it was the one piece of the puzzle that made his weapon work. Vaughn’s voice boomed in her ear, one of the last time’s she’d hear it. He told her to go in for it, get the ruby and get out of there. But it was too late; Sloane heard her walkie-talkie and looked right into her eyes. She had just enough time to tell Vaughn that he saw her. Every alarm in Vaughn’s head went off at that moment, from the base van a mile away his stomach fell. Revving the fan into first he sped away, hoping to reach his love in time.

Sydney burst through the stained glass and allowed herself to drop to the marble floor. Sloane was still too shocked to move but Syd jumped into action. After the glass had settled she reached for her gun, but decided to fight him hand to hand first. Racing upon him, she balked at Sark’s dead body, but round-out kicked Sloane right in the temple. He fell to the ground as the ruby ricocheted off the pews. Sloane regained his footing and began to fight. It was the worst combat Syd had ever been in, each knocking the other over and over until bruises were inevitable, but only if one survived. They fought for what seemed an eternity until they reached for their guns. Their stand-off lasted for almost 10 minutes until Vaughn burst through the doors, not knowing it was rigged with weapon the CIA once had. The second he turned the knob Syd saw the man she love burst into flames. Sloane turned and laughed as Vaughn literally burned from the inside out, the Firebomb Sloane and Sark had labored over used precisely on that spot. Screaming Syd tried to go to her lover, but Sloane pointed his gun directly on her jugular. Time passed slowly as Syd cried as Vaughn screamed, as he lay on the floor only seconds passed until he was ashes.

Anger filled every part of her, reaching into her second holster Syd turned and without hesitation blew a hole in Arvin Sloane’s head. She finally had the courage and motive to kill him, not just point a gun at him. She watched as grey matter flew behind him and in unison with his body she crumbled to the ground and wept.
Chapter 7

Syd awoke in a cold sweat, shaking, and hypervenelating from her most vivid dream. Cursing under her breath she sighed and stepped out of her big, comfy, bed. As she staggered to the bathroom the world seemed to spin, and the apartment was all too empty. She hated being alone, and that’s all it ever was. Reaching the sink she bent over and began to splash the cool water off her face. Nothing made her more sick than that dream, reliving that horrible night made her want to crawl away and die. It was her fault she didn’t warn Vaughn of the Firebomb, she knew that it was there, knew the threat. Yet she was too wound up in her hatred to think what he would do if she was in danger, too self centered to care about her only love.

The water felt so cool on her face, the red escaping from her cheeks quickly. Sighing, Syd went back to bed, but did not feel the urge to sleep. Lying in the sheets she watched her ceiling, intensely making sure it didn’t fall upon her like she willed it to do. Her comforter was too warm, but the second she kicked it off the room was too cold, and her sick cycle of insomnia continued for hours after she awoke from that dream. Deciding to busy herself she crept out from under the bedding and went to the kitchen, the remains of her drunken escapade still there. Her head pounded in hangover, and nothing seemed to feel right. Cleaning was her first impulse, and she began to tidy up the kitchen. Scrubbing the counter free of dried ice-cream Syd began to cry again. Never in her life had she cried more than in the past week.

Scrubbing harder and harder, crying harder and harder, Syd began to break down again. The more she cleaned the more she sobbed, and soon she was rushing around the room like a hurricane, dishtowel in one hand, cleaning solution in the other, and a river of tears falling from her eyes. As the kitchen began to sparkle she continued onto the living room, occasionally letting out a muffled scream of anguish when something reminded her of Vaughn. Flowers he gave her, dried and hung by the door, pictures of them in Santa Monica, her on a horse and him holding the beast by the reins, trying to stop the chestnut from biting his shirt, and her exuberant laugh all frozen in a celluloid moment. A small, crystal, four leaf clover he gave her when they reached their six month anniversary. “It was more than luck that brought us together.” He said, his eyes twinkling “And it’ll take more than luck to keep us here.” She remembered everything about him, it was embossed in her memory.

As she closed her eyes for a moment, letting the rag fall from her fist, she began to create a picture of him in her mind. There, in front of her eyes was the man she loved. Tall, hair tousled, button-down shirt open to expose finely chiseled abs, khaki pants sitting on his waist, falling perfectly down his well muscled legs and landing at his feet. Everything about him was perfect, and Syd knew it. She wished she could leap from her being and run to him. Let herself fall into his strong arms and feel, again, like the world revolved around their love.

Slowly she opened her eyes, not wanting the picture to disappear, but when she glanced at the clock it flashed 5:30 am, and she knew the time had come to face her fears. Letting the cleaning solution drop next to the rag she stripped her loose PJ’s from her frame and climbed into the shower, letting the water scald her skin. Taking her time under the pelting drops, Syd slowly did her normal routine. Climbing out she sighed a deep sigh and willed herself not to cry again, wrapping her favorite towel around her body Syd walked into her closet, gasping at what she saw. Inside were her clothes, but the one thing she forgot was there were three of Vaughn’s suits hanging neatly in a row. Like soldiers, they draped over hangers and rested next to her own suits and dresses, making her cringe. As Syd stepped in she closed her eyes, then sat down beneath two of the suits, pulling the third into her lap. Sitting down she inhaled the scent of her fallen star, breathing in her memories and once again, she broke down, letting her tears fall from her chin into the blue fabric, soaking in like the whole ordeal was soaking into Syd.
Chapter 8

Syd took a deep breath and opened the doors to the CIA building, wishing with all her heart she wasn’t there. Stepping through the door she immediately felt the sense of familiarity she always did when she stood in the marble-floored entrance hall. Smiling to herself, she thought she must look like a crazy person, standing like a statue, smiling dumbly, in the middle of a government office. Walking along on auto-pilot, Syd grinned at agents she knew, nodded at superiors, and glanced at those who she did not recognize, all part of her normal routine. Rounding the corner into her office, Syd let out the sigh she’d been holding in the whole time. She shut her door and sat down in her spacious room, loving every part of it. It was one of the bigger offices in the complex; she was a ranking officer and deserved it.

Painted a solemn color of navy, it was intimidating, but welcoming, overstuffed leather chairs surrounding her desk, and a small maroon couch at the back, pictures and plaques hung in a row like soldiers. One shelf stood across from her, and on it were a small, Brookstone, clock-CD player, and a few CD’s skewed about on the shelf above it. Also on it stood some of her favorite books, mostly ones Vaughn had given to her, and pictures of them together on beaches, in restaurants, or running with his dog, Donovan. She smiled a sad smile when she saw them, and willed herself not to cry, but remembered what CD was in her stereo.

Digging around in her top drawer she found the remote control, much too lazy to get up and turn it on herself. Pressing play her mix CD started to whirl. First, Norah Jones’ sensual voice came across the speakers, making Syd relax and sit more deeply in her comfortable chair. Playing with the strands of her hair she began to daydream again, but this time to a happier place, one where she felt safe, secure, and happy.

“Syd!” Vaughn cried from across the beach, laughing as she ran to him, hair streaming behind her, wild and free. Leaping into his arms, sand flew everywhere. Both of them tumbled onto the soft white pillow beneath them and he held her tighter than he ever had. She felt it, like she felt it every time, she loved him. Just hours ago she had gone exploring in the cliffs, leaving a sleeping Vaughn in their resort, not wanting to wake her sleeping beauty. When he woke he was terrified, not knowing where she was, yet the second he stepped onto the beach there she was, and now he found himself on the ground.

“Have a good nap, sleepy head?” Syd asked, eyes dancing with delight. “You should have woke me, we could have had some fun!” Syd knew exactly what he was insinuating, and she rolled her eyes at the comment. “I was bored, but didn’t want to wake you. We didn’t sleep much last night.” She said with a hint of purr in her voice. Vaughn laughed again, and Syd looked deeply into his green eyes as she pulled him closer. Resting her head on his shoulder she let her breath out, loving the sound of his heartbeat in her ear. He kissed the top of his head, breathing in her beautiful scent. He lifted her chin with his hand and kissed her lips slightly, then more deeply, loving the taste of her whole mouth. Syd pulled away, and looked at him with every bit of love she felt, then leaned in and kissed him again, this time tugging at the white shirt he wore.
He obliged and pulled it over his head, watching her eyes dart across his finely chiseled chest. She kissed him again, this time exploring his neck, shoulders, collar bone, and occasionally resting her head to breath him in, saving every moment in her photographic memory. He pulled her close and began kissing her the same way, first mouth than shoulders, than collar bone, finally tugging her bikini top off and letting it fall to the sand. They then tumbled to the beach, water nipping their toes as the tide grew higher with the sun. Alone on the seashore, they loved each other so much, closed off from the world, without the judging eyes of anyone. Syd let her forehead fall to the crook of his neck, just as he pulled the bottoms of her bathing suit down, and allowed her to do the same with his boxers. There they were, alone, and it stayed that way for hours.
Chapter 9

As the song finished, Sydney snapped from her daydream, blushing at what she was thinking about. It had been almost ten minutes, and not one person had entered her office yet, a surprising plus. Clicking the next song on, Syd smiled, knowing the next three were Dave Matthews, and she remembered her drunken escapade from just the night before. As “#41” began to play she listened to the lyrics, not knowing their true impact until this moment. A lone tear fell down her cheek, and she wiped it away fiercely. As Dave hit note after note, Syd couldn’t help moving her head in the beat of the music, and she walked to her door and locked it. Knowing something might happen. “It’s all Dave’s fault.” Syd thought “If something happens in this office!”

She chuckled at her childish thoughts, and loving every note sung or played. Falling on her couch she daydreamed again, every memory of Vaughn slipping through her mind. In and out of her thoughts he slipped, from heart-racing missions, to somber evenings sipping wine on the beach. His smile was embossed in her heart and she could draw it before her eyes at any moment. Never before had she realized the force he was in her life, and she needed to get out, away from the building that reminded her so much of him. She threw on her new Burberry jacket and clicked off Dave as the last chords played, hastily unlocking the door and grabbing her purse. Striding as fast as she could she fled through the marble hallways, a sense of déjà vu came over her, because just a day before she felt exactly the same.

Reaching the entrance of the building she realized it was raining, not pouring but the slight drizzle she loved. Into the droplets she stepped and missing the encompassing music she had before she popped her iPod in her ears. Letting Dave once again come across her headphones she smiled, her favorite song – “Crash”. She allowed the music to carry her, not knowing where to go, but enjoying the sense of mysteriousness, she let her feet go where they wanted to. She twirled and sidestepped to the music, remembering the night on the beach when the very song played.

“In a boy’s dream…Oh if I’ve gone overboard and I’m begging you to forgive me…” Dave crooned over the stereo in their small cottage on the beach, the music reverberating when the waves hit the beach. Syd and Vaughn were in each other’s arms, slowly swaying to the song. He hummed deep in his throat, knowing each word and chord by heart. She, just enjoying is scent, let her mind drift and wander, whether because she was drunk with love or drunk with alcohol she’d never tell. His strong arms held her tightly, and she relaxed completely, melting into ever nook and cranny of his body. The song ended, and she began to pull away, but he held her close, not wanting to loose the sensation of being completely one. Dave continued to sing, and a tear slid slowly down her cheek. He felt the cool droplet, and frowned in confusion.

She looked up, reading what his face told her. She smiled, assuring him nothing was wrong, but the tear was in pure joy. Wrapping her in his arms like a security blanket he guided her towards the counter, where three empty French wine bottles were empty. He kept her tight but grabbed a small box off the counter. It had sat there all night, and she never noticed it. Cocking her head in puzzlement he opened it, there sat a beautiful diamond. Without a word she smiled, kissed him and placed it on her finger. It was simple, but beautiful. There, they made a silent agreement, and pledged their love forever.
i love it but its sooo sad! :( i want to cry.....vaughn burned into ashes.....waaaaaaah! so that pretty much means he cant come back right! ..........waaaaaaaaah! its so sad! but its great! pm me! ~Sarah
OMG!!! this is so sad!!
i absolutely love it, though
so no Vaughn? theres no way he can come back?
great chapters
cant wait for more
can i get a pm?

and yes please PLEASE PLEASe keep going!!!