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Darrin Reed

"There is no need for your anguish. We're here to take away your pain."

0 · 915 views · located in Coon Falls, Virginia

a character in “You Saved Me From Myself Repost”, as played by shatari19

Description

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Name
Darrin Oliver Reed


Age
29


Gender
Male


Appearance
Image
View above pictures. Darrin stands shorter than everyone else in his band at 5'6. He has dark brown hair that he normally keeps dyed either black or an unnatural shade of red. His hair is cut in uneven layers. He has deep chocolate brown eyes that anyone could get lost in. He can usually be seen wearing black shirts, jeans, converse, and a hoodie.


Personality
Darrin is the sweetest and most genuine person. He's never allowed for his fame to change who he is. He likes having a good time and laughing. As of late, Darrin has become self-hating and violent. He likes drinking and taking oxycontin to escape from his pain.

Likes
+Smoking
+Drinking
+His Children
+His Band
+Laughing
+Singing
+Writing
+Drawing
+Guitar



Dislikes
+His ex-wife Hannah
+Being told what to do
+Bullies
+Rude people



History
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Darrin Reed was born in the little town of Coon Falls Virginia to a loving mother and father. They had always supported his ambitions and dreams. During high school, Darrin was always the loner and weirdo. He was always getting into fights and doing drugs. He met his best friends shortly after graduating. They began a band together and made it big. They were on top of the world for eleven years. They were all married with children by then. Darrin had married a beautiful girl that he'd fallen for hard. They had been so happy together. Soon, she gave him two children, twins. A boy and a girl. Darrin couldn't have been happier. As the children turned four, things went downhill quickly. Before Darrin knew what was happening, his wife just..left. Left her husband and her children. This sent Darrin spiraling into a deep depression. Not soon after these events, his band disbanded. He just didn't have the will to perform any more. He now spends his days and nights drinking and doing drugs, trying to wash away the pain that he feels. His mother is very worried about him. He's so out of it most of the time that he doesn't even acknowledge his own family anymore.

So begins...

Darrin Reed's Story

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin watched his son closely. It was obvious that the child was upset about something. "I-If y-you are gunna make Z-Zoe our new M-Mommy, you h-have t-to talk to her f-first..." Zeke said, pausing for a moment. "I-I don't w-want you or her to l-leave." Darrin thought for a moment. What was he supposed to say to that? "Zeke.." Darrin started, gently sliding a arm around the child. "I promise you that I'll talk to her. Just remember that these things take time, ok? I'm not going anywhere, I promise. No matter what. As for Zooey, I'm going to try my hardest to get her to stay, but you and Zaira have to help. You have to be very good and show her how much you care for her." Darrin smiled at his son. "Now, how about we get you dressed and you can come downstairs for breakfast? You need to apologize to Zooey. She was really upset that you wouldn't talk to her." Darrin gently got up out of the bed to help Zeke get ready for the day. He got the boy dressed and then picked him up. Darrin carried Zeke down the stairs and into the kitchen. Sitting the boy down upon the ground, he noticed that his mother and Zooey had been talking. That could never be a good thing. Darrin stood at the counter that stood in the middle of the large kitchen, smiling at Zooey and watching Zeke. He hoped that he would apologize to the woman.




Judith had been smiling while Zooey spoke. "Um, well we definitely aren't saying youngins anymore. I do... but I don't want to just be his replacement for Hannah, and I don't know how he feels. I mean, he wouldn't even kiss me, I don't-" Zooey looked up at Judith, putting her hand over her mouth. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that, oh my god." Judith smiled gently. "Don't be. Darrin would never do that to you. If he's been acting like he cares for you more than as a friend, then he does. It's not because he's trying to fill the hole that Hannah left. I've seen Darrin watching you. It's different from the way he used to look at Hannah. It's more intense. Why don't you talk to him? I know that he normally doesn't like talking about this sort of thing but maybe give him an ultimatum? Push him." Judith went quiet as she heard Darrin coming down the stairs. She eyed Zooey before saying, "Take him outside to eat breakfast. Talk to him. I'll keep the kids busy."

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zeke seemed to accept this answer, finally allowing someone- his father -to help him get ready for the day. When his daddy picked him up he pretended to struggle, kicking his legs and hitting his daddy's chest with his small fists. He quickly grew tired though and let his head rest against his dad and wrapped his arms around his neck, feeling as if he never wanted to let go. And he really didn't, he enjoyed being close to his father so much, when his father started to not care so much, it definitely took a toll on the little boy. He was obviously less talkative now, a lot more shy, and just wasn't all that emotional anymore, at all.

After he was sat on the ground, Zeke crawled over to Zaira and relayed their fathers message about being on their best behavior for Zooey, if they wanted her to stay. After this, he stood and slowly made his way over to where Grandma, Zoe, and Darrin currently stood. Tugging on Zoe's wrist, he pulled her away from the group and quickly apologized. His nanny just smiled and pulled him into another hug that threatened to give him cooties. Blushing, the child quickly retreated from the room and went to hide in the dining room with his sister.



I've seen Darrin watching you. The thought should have been uncomfortable, it just made her feel safe. -different from the way he used to look at Hannah. It was hard to wrap her head around it all. -intense. She was honestly scared, but not exactly in a bad way. Darrin was so many thousand times out of her league. Pretty rich, handsome, famous, and almost ten years older than her. The last part didn't bother her much, but she was always terrified that she would do something wrong and he would just think of her as the kid she was.

Judith offered to keep the children busy while she and Darrin talked, and she was about to decline when Darrin made his way over to them. Frowning, she shifted her gaze between the two. "The closer I get to you," she pointed to Darrin. "The less I'm actually doing of my job." With a sigh, she grabbed two plates and balanced them on one arm and used her other to pull Darrin back outside with her. "Your mother wants us to talk, meaning you need to be all emotional and talk about your feelings."

She jumped into it before she had a chance to rethink it all. "Do you like me? This morning, you looked like you wanted to kiss me, I felt that you wanted to kiss me. I was about to... but then Zeke and Zaira came in..." she bit her lip, pausing as she finally thought about what she was saying. "Do you like me?" she repeated, much quieter this time.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin kept looking between the two women. He wondered what they'd been talking about. He watched Zooey as she grabbed two plates and balanced them upon one arm and then began pulling him with the other. He allowed her to lead him to wherever she wanted. It appeared to him that they were heading outside. "Your mother wants us to talk, meaning you need to be all emotional and talk about your feelings." Zooey said. Darrin didn't like where this was going. His mother knew how much he hated talking about his feelings. It seemed to Darrin that Zooey didn't want to give him a chance to get away from her. She wanted him to know what she was feeling. "Do you like me? This morning, you looked like you wanted to kiss me, I felt that you wanted to kiss me. I was about to... but then Zeke and Zaira came in..." Darrin watched as she bit her lip. "Do you like me?" Darrin said nothing for a moment. The silly woman was still holding the plates of food. He watched her intently, taking the plates from her and sitting them down. As much as he'd like to just take her into his arms and kiss her, he needed to tell her about what Zeke had. "Zooey.." Darrin started. Then he thought better of saying anything. Stepping closer to the woman, he had her almost pinned against the railing. He placed a hand upon Zooey's waist and the other upon her neck. Without waiting another moment, Darrin quickly captured Zooey's lips, pouring into the kiss everything that he was feeling. He wanted so badly for her to see that he did like her..alot. More than he had anyone else. He didn't care if anyone in the house saw. For the time being, it was just Darrin and Zooey. They were all that mattered. The kiss lasted for a long moment, it deepening as time went on.

Darrin finally relented his assault upon her lips, though he remained quite close to the woman. "I like you. Alot." he said smiling, "But, Zeke was upset with you because he thinks you're just going to leave." Darrin gently placed his face close to Zooey's again, their noses almost touching. "Are you going to leave?" he asked softly.




Judith had done as she'd promised, feeding the children and then taking them into the living room to watch a movie. She'd come back into the kitchen to see if the other adults were still talking. To her great surprise, Darrin and Zooey had been locked in a deep kiss. She quickly walked away and back into the living room. The children didn't need to see what was going on outside.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zooey watched Darrin, seemingly unable to do anything else. There was no way to describe how she was feeling, but she knew for sure that she wasn't angry with herself for saying it. He just had to be up front with her, in her mind, it had to be that way. There was no way she was going to play games with him, this, because it wasn't just the two of them they were worrying about. They had Zeke and Zaira, and Judith to consider. If they just messed around with each other and ended up hating one another, how would that affect them? How would it affect her? Him? She was sure that she wouldn't be able to stand being around Darrin if something happened, not after today. And if Darrin fell back into his previous doings because of her, neither she or the children would ever be able to forgive her.

Her gaze was still unwavering when he spoke, seeming to be debating on what he wanted to say. It surprised her when he suddenly stepped closer- he had taken the plates from her moments ago -nearly having her pinned against the railing. For once she was glad it was, because when his arm suddenly went around her waist and his lips were crushed against hers she needed something to hold onto. The kiss lasted a long time, and during it she somehow managed to get her arms around his neck instead of holding onto the railing behind her, one hand nearly tangled in the red hair that she adored. One of the things that occurred to her later was the people inside the house, and what might happen if someone had seen them. It would be... very, very bad. But right then, it was just Darrin and her, and she could have kept it that way forever if she was allowed.

Even when the handsome man pulled away- leaving her slightly breathless and completely flushed -he didn't go far. When she heard about Zeke's explanation for being angry, she was slightly.. shocked, maybe. She hadn't realized the little boy would be so sensitive to that. Slowly, barely shaking her head, she pressed her lips lightly against his again. "No, never."

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin smiled at the woman. "Good. I'm not sure that I could let you go, even if you asked me to." he said, placing a final kiss upon Zooey's lips. He gently led her over to one of the chairs. "You," Darrin said, waiting for Zooey to sit, "Need to eat. If I recall correctly you didn't eat much last night." Darrin took a seat in the chair beside of Zooey's. As Darrin ate, he eyed the girl near him. "I..was thinking about asking Damion, Landon, and Tyler over." he said wondering what Zooey would think of that. He was feeling more and more awful about the things that he'd said to them right before he'd left them. He was no longer looking at Zooey. He knew that he needed to make up with all of them. It was his fault that all of this had happened. Sadness crossed his features. He would find a way to make things right. Maybe, Damion had already talked to the others. That would make it a bit easier on him.

After finishing breakfast, Darrin asked, "Any plans for today? I was thinking about being quite lazy. You wore me out yesterday." He was smiling again. He waited until Zooey was finished eating before offering to take her plate. He stood and led the way into the house. As he entered into the kitchen, Darrin noticed that his family was in the living room. He placed the dishes into the sink and then headed in there. The children were sitting upon the floor, watching the movie. His mother looked to him as he entered, smiling at him as if she knew something. Darrin sat down upon the couch, wishing that Zooey would join him. Since his mother had decided to sit in the opposite couch, Darrin almost wondered if the older woman had planned this. As Darrin sat on the couch, he quickly sent a message to Damion, asking him to bring the guys over the next day. He hoped that nothing bad would happen. He really didn't feel like getting beat up again. He was the smallest in the group and though he liked to act big..that's all that it was. An act.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zooey smiled, letting him speak, kiss her, even lead her over to her seat before bothering to say something herself. "You should probably be more worried about being unable to get rid of me," she joked, picking at her food. Breakfast was never her thing, but the last real meal she had had was yesterday's lunch, she hadn't eaten much at dinner. Not that it really matter, but it made her feel a little warm inside, knowing he cared enough to notice something like that. When Darrin mentioned inviting the band over, she couldn't help but give a surprised look, that eventually turned into a smile again. "I think that's a great idea," she said quietly, sort of nervous about seeing Damion again. She had said some things she hadn't really meant too, he might have taken it the wrong way. Then again, Judith had said he wasn't one for commitment, he was probably already on the next pretty girl to walk by him. "I could take the kids out that day, if you'd like. So you four can be alone."

The man next to her asked about her plans for the day, and she just shrugged. "I wore you out? You're the one who made me walk like, a billion miles." So she wasn't the most energetic person, it didn't make her lazy or anything, she just... chose to not do much walking. "It would explain why I woke up with you on top of me though," the girl glanced over at him, wondering how he would react to remembering that. Darrin brought their dishes inside, and she went over to the sink to wash everything from breakfast before heading into the living room, where she noticed everyone was currently located. The children were on the floor and Judith was sitting on one of the couches, which left her to chose between Darrin and his mother. Sort of nervous, she made her way over to the couch Darrin was on and sat down, glancing over at him and then down at her hands. When she thought about Darrin's band coming over, it made her sort of nervous. Last time Darrin had gotten together with one of them, he had gotten punched in the face. She so desperately wanted to be there, but it wouldn't be appropriate for her to ask, it was a private thing.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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As Darrin was sitting upon the couch with Zooey, watching the movie with the kids, Darrin thought about when they'd been outside. "I could take the kids out that day, if you'd like. So you four can be alone." Zooey had said to him after she'd found out that he was wanting to invite the guys over. Darrin had only smiled at the woman. "You could maybe just take them out for ice cream? At least by the time that you got home everything should be calming down." Darrin said. He smiled at Zooey. Afterwards, Darrin had told Zooey his plans for the day. "I wore you out? You're the one who made me walk like, a billion miles." It would explain why I woke up with you on top of me though." Zooey said. Darrin was eyeing her, smiling even after the comment. "If you're not careful, it could happen again." Darrin said, looking down.

Thinking, Darrin looked down to his phone again. Another message from Damion. They were coming the next day, first thing in the morning. He actually wasn't nervous at all about seeing his former friends. In fact, he was almost excited. He'd not realized how much he'd missed them. Suddenly, a thought struck him. The rehearsal room was a mess. He probably should clean it up. He didn't want anyone to realize what he was doing, though. He thought for a moment. What would be a good way to keep everyone preoccupied? He smiled. "It's such a nice day, why don't you all take play outside?" Darrin asked the children. Zaira's eyes immediately brightened. "Yes! Come on Zeke!" the little girl was already up and tugging on her brother. Darrin knew that Zooey would probably suspect something. He cared, but needed them out of the house. Darrin looked to his mother. She only smiled at him, as if she knew what he was up to. "Zooey, come on. We'd better join them." Judith said rising and then walking outside. Darrin waited until everyone was out of the house before getting up from the couch. He quickly made his way back to the third floor.

As he entered the room, it was a mess from the night before. He quickly began gathering the papers and putting them back into the trunk. He then searched the room for the cleaners for all of the instruments. Darrin took his time, being quite meticulous in the cleaning. He spent a long time upstairs. When he'd stopped hearing the children's cries of joy from outside, he'd locked himself in the room. He spent most of the day upstairs, making sure that the instruments were shining and clean. Around six o'clock, Darrin finally deemed himself done. He sat down on the couch for a moment, to rest.




Judith had spent most of the day with Zooey and her grandchildren. After Zooey had taken a break from playing, Judith had asked her to sit with her on the large porch. "Is everything all right now? You two seemed much happier after coming inside this morning." she said, smiling. Zaira was running after Zeke, trying to catch him. She was laughing. She was so happy that her Daddy and Zooey seemed to be getting along. She hoped that Zooey would stick around.

Around five thirty, Judith had gone inside to fix supper for them before she left. As she was leaving, Judith hugged Zooey. "I'll see you all in the morning, unless you don't need me. It'll be a house full if the guys come over. You'll love them all. They're all really sweet. I just hope that they aren't too hard on Darrin."she said, looking a bit concerned.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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If you're not careful, it could happen again. Zoe blushed, having not expected that sort of comment to come from Darrin. "I'll remember that," she said, quiet so the children wouldn't hear them. Careful around him was impossible for her. He made her happy and excited, vulnerable and confused, but she never thought to be careful. It wasn't like with other people, were she was constantly trying to protect herself and not let anyone in, she wanted him to challenge and test her, to bother her until she was forced to let him in. Even from the beginning she hadn't been careful, as he probably recalled that first day. Sort of ironic now.

Hearing his suggestion of going outside to play, Zooey smiled. "That's a wonderful idea," she said, watching the man for a moment. He seemed to be up to something, but she let it go. If he chose to tell her what he was planning on doing, he would. If not, well it probably wasn't important. Though it was a... negative thought, she only hoped that he wasn't planning on going upstairs and taking anything... or drinking anything. It made her nervous, but she was already on her way out the door with Zaira and Zeke. The little girl seemed to be dragging her brother, who was still trying to get his feet correctly underneath him. Laughing, she dismissed the thoughts about Darrin and bent down to pull Zeke up and chase them the rest of the way outside.



Zeke was having lots of fun playing with his sister and Zooey. Though he still felt a little bad about being mean to her, and had tried to apologize again. She had quickly stopped him though, saying that everything was okay and her and Daddy talked about it. This made him happy, since that had to mean that Zooey wanted to stay, or else she might have already left. It also thrilled him to know that his Daddy actually did what he had asked him to do, he wasn't sure if he would. No wonder he still looked so happy, and Zoe sat next to him now, maybe they really were happy!

Soon Zooey went to rest though, which left just him and his sister. He stared at her for a moment before running off in the opposite direction, yelling out that he already washed the cooties off from this morning and didn't need anymore of them. He wasn't sure why girls were so gross, but they were. It was like a law among him and the few friends he had had back in California. Now he only had his sister, but he didn't mind that much either.



Zoe nodded in respond to Judith's question. "I think so," it probably should have felt awkward, talking to Darrin's mother about something like this, but she didn't mind it at all. When she noticed Judith getting ready to leave a bit later, she called the kids over and brought them inside, telling them to go wash their hands for dinner and then they were getting a bath afterwards.

Returning her hug, Zoe tried not to blush at the thought of meeting the other band members. She had already screwed up with one of them, okay, two if you counted Darrin. And she wasn't exactly sure how the others would take her to since... well Damion had been... well, she would see. Lastly she was worried about how she was supposed to act with Darrin, but she figured he would do something about it if he wanted too. "I think I'm just taking the kids out for ice cream, and then we're going to come back here and I'll probably make lunch for them or something," she laughed lightly at the thought of making lunch for them. If even one made a comment about woman and kitchens though... "Unless you think maybe Mr. Reed," she was talking about Darrin's father. "Would want to see his grandchildren? I could always drop them off..." alright, she was pathetic. But she also didn't want the children to come home and see anyone with black-eyes or bloody noses.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Judith was touched by what Zooey had said. "I know what you're trying to do. You're worried that they'll get into it like Darrin and Damion did. You're a sweet woman, Zooey. But..I'm afraid that Darrin would never allow Zaira and Zeke to come over, even just for a little bit. His father and him aren't exactly on speaking terms right now. I've done everything that I can to try and get them to get over it. I tell you what, if you can get Darrin's approval, you can bring the children over to spend the night with Mick and me. I can bring them back the next morning. Well, I'd better go, Dear. If you're able to bring them, just get the directions from Darrin. I'll see you later." she said, smiling. The older woman quickly made her way out of the door.




Darrin got up off of the couch and unlocked the rehearsal room. He slowly made his way down to his bedroom. He decided that perhaps it would be best to shower before going downstairs. He was covered in dust and was sure that he looked awful. He entered into his room and spied the alcohol and pills still sitting near his bed. He frowned. Darrin knew that he needed to get rid of the items and wondered what the best way would be. He pushed the thoughts from his mind. He quickly stripped and made his way into the bathroom to shower. He was in the water for no more than fifteen minutes. As Darrin got out, he eyed his reflection. The bruise that had still been upon his face the past couple of days had finally faded. He had to admit that he was very glad for this. He didn't bother with his hair much, only towel drying it a bit, leaving it still damp. He made his way back into his bedroom and quickly dressed into a similar outfit that he had had on earlier that day. He slowly made his was downstairs to find that his mother had already left.

Darrin entered into the living room to find his children watching television again. He stood in the doorway, smiling at them. It wasn't long before Zaira noticed him. "Daddy! Daddy! Where were you?" she asked eyeing him. "I was working, silly." Darrin said entering into the room. He assumed that the children had eaten already as they seemed quite happy. He sat down upon the couch and his daughter quickly moved to sit on his lap. Darrin kept eyeing Zooey, though. He wondered if she had caught what he'd said that he'd been doing. Of course he wasn't writing music but it was still work. He smiled at the woman. He was glad that she'd confronted him that morning. He'd not been sure how he was going to tell her how he felt about her and luckily she'd saved him from the worry. He was glad that she liked him. He wasn't sure what the future held. If the band would get back together. If he would remain living in Virginia. Or if Zooey would ever consider being his girlfriend at some point in the future. All that he knew was that he was actually happy. Afterall, isn't that what truly mattered most?

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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During dinner, Zoe came up with ways she could convince Darrin to let the children go over to his mothers house. She could say that they needed to clean the house or something, like she found bugs in the kids room and she needed to call someone to clean it up. Or she could make an excuse about how Judith wanted to take them somewhere special or something, tell him it was early in the morning and it would just be a lot easier if he let them stay over at Judith's for the night. She had wanted to ask why exactly Darrin and his father weren't speaking, but she also knew that it would be inappropriate for her to ask such a thing. That was definitely personal, between him and his father. Still, if she knew the reasons behind it, it would have been a lot easier to devise a plan of action.

In the end she just decided to tell him the truth. Honesty was the best policy, right? He would surely understand her concerns, not wanting the children to see something like what had happened last time. It was a surprise that they didn't see the last fight, he really couldn't count on it happening again. No matter, Zeke and Zaira would certainly ask if anyone had bruises or was bleeding, and that wasn't something entirely... easy to explain to children. If they knew their father had fought with someone, they would probably think it was just fine to fight with whoever.

She was still washing dishes when she heard Darrin come downstairs. Quickly finishing putting them in the washer, she made her way out into the living room, spotting Darrin on the couch with Zaira, and Zeke on the floor. Taking a seat next to Zeke, she quietly asked them what they were watching, and he launched into an explanation about the show, already talking about the characters and his favorite parts. When she heard Darrin mention that he had been working she smiled, but didn't say anything. It made her happy to know that he was doing stuff again, it didn't really matter to her what it was. At least he wasn't just wasting away in his room like he seemed to be when she had arrived. Zeke then mentioned that after the show was over, it was bed time, which made him sad. The thought of bed time made the thoughts from the previous night and waking up this morning come back, and she sighed. Sleeping alone in her bed was going to suck, majorly.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin gently stood with Zaira in his arms. He slowly made his way up the stairs to the children's bedroom. He helped Zaira change into her pjs. He pulled down the covers and watched as the little girl jumped into the comfy bed. He gently pulled the covers up and kissed her goodnight. Darrin waited for Zooey and Zeke. He then got Zeke ready so that Zooey could tell Zaira goodnight. He repeated the sames steps as he'd done with his daughter. He kissed Zeke goodnight and slowly made his way out of the bedroom. He made his way downstairs and out onto the porch. He sat down upon the same chair that he normally sat in, enjoying the late evening. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, taking a drag. He wondered if Zooey would just head to bed or come to find him. He'd probably get another lecture about smoking. He didn't mind, though. He actually enjoyed the fact that she cared enough for him to worry about his bad habits. Darrin Just wanted tomorrow to come. He wanted to get the confrontations over with. He wished that he could go with Zooey and the kids. He didn't want the woman gone from his side and now that Darrin was thinking about it, it was strange to him that he was already so attached to her.

Darrin picked up the notebook that he'd left outside all day. He began going over what he'd began working on. He wasn't sure if he cared for the words. It had been such a long time since he'd written any music and was now questioning himself. He looked puzzled. He wasn't sure what he ccould do to convince himself that what he'd been writing was any good. He supposed that he could let Zooey see it but then..he'd never allowed anyone to see any of his music before it was ready. Not even Hannah. He decided to think on it. Taking another drag and releasing the smoke, Darrin was trying to think of a way to thank Zooey for everything that she'd done for him and his family. There had to be something.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Both Zeke and Zooey turned when they heard Darrin get up, but otherwise said nothing as he carried the little girl upstairs. When he was out of earshot though, Zeke turned to Zoe and practically begged her to let him watch the end of the show, and she agreed but then it was straight upstairs. There was only a few minutes left anyway, there was no harm in letting him stay to watch the show. Though she could tell he was still tired, as he'd already begun yawning and was now leaning against her. When he began to snore she woke him up- though she felt terrible for it -and helped him upstairs. They entered the room just as Darrin was saying his goodnights to Zaira. While Zooey had already been about to get Zeke ready, his father came and took over, leaving her to say goodnight to the other child.

After following Darrin out the door, she wasn't really sure what to do. The first thing she thought of was to check her phone, but that wasn't very exciting, considering she didn't really have any friends and it was still as boring as it was that morning. Eventually she made her way downstairs, convincing herself that Darrin wouldn't be angry if she went out and joined him. As soon as she stepped outside she noticed the smoke, and was tempted to just pluck the cigarette out of his mouth. "That's going to kill you one day," she said flatly, dropping down in the chair next to him even though she looked away, trying to breathe in as little smoke as possible.

"You should let the children stay over your mothers tomorrow night." she told him, thinking back to when Judith said she needed his permission. Well, of course she needed his permission, but still. "I don't know what sort of problem you're having with your father and I'm not going to bother you about it, but I do not want those children coming home to their father or anyone else bleeding or bruised."

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin had turned to watch Zooey as she joined him. "That's going to kill you one day," Zooey said. He was confused for a moment until he realized that she was talking about the cigarette. He eyed her for a second. He'd been about to say something but decided against it. He didn't want to anger her. Instead, he choose to put out the cigarette, hoping that she would be happy of that. The silence only remained for a moment before Zooey was speaking to him again. "You should let the children stay over your mothers tomorrow night." "I don't know what sort of problem you're having with your father and I'm not going to bother you about it, but I do not want those children coming home to their father or anyone else bleeding or bruised."
Darrin eyed Zooey closely. He saw no reason to allow Zeke and Zaira to go over to his parent's home. His father would find a way to hold that over his head, he was sure. He sat back in the chair, almost looking as if he was pouting at Zooey. "Alright. If you think it best." he said. Darrin wasn't angry, he just wasn't used to someone like Zooey. She was always seeming to find a new way to push him. "You'll be coming back here?" he asked softly. He was afraid that she was going to stay with his parents.

Darrin smiled at Zooey. "I was thinking about doing a bonfire tomorrow night. I was going to see if you wanted to come with me." he said looking away from Zooey. What he hadn't told her was that was how he'd decide he was going to rid himself of the pills and alcohol. He'd spoken to Damion about it and the other man had thought that it was a wonderful idea. They were all going to let something go that they had become dependent upon over the past year. A sort of rebirth, of sorts. Darrin felt that this was something that he needed to do. He looked back at Zooey. Darrin was staring at her again. He didn't mean to, he just couldn't help himself. She was so beautiful and seemed to really care about him. The man gently took hold of one of Zooey's hands, holding it loosely, allowing the woman to move if she so wished it. He wanted to pull her to him, to capture her lips again. He wasn't sure if she'd allow him though. Deciding to risk it, Darrin gently began tugging on Zooey's arm, trying to lead her body to him.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zooey was glad when he put out the cigarette, but not just because she didn't like smoking. It made her feel like he cared maybe, a little. And like she had told him, smoking was bad for him, and she didn't want to see him dying before sixty because he's smoking with one of those oxygen tanks and a spark hits the tank and everything explodes. Wow, that was a pretty violent thought, she made a note to try and draw something like that. Of course, with someone other than Darrin as the person exploding, so that she could show him where he would be in thirty years if he didn't stop smoking. He'd probably just laugh at her though, but she would be okay with that. Who would take a picture of someone blowing themselves up seriously? Well if he was anything like her he would laugh, since she was impossible when it came to those things. Certainly the "laughing at funerals" type. It was terrible embarrassing sometimes.

Alright. If you think it best. She glanced over at him, trying to judge if he was joking or being sarcastic. You'll be coming back here? Zoe nodded, "Of course." Realizing that he might have asked because he had wanted her to stay with the children, she looked down. "I mean, it's not like I can leave you and the boys home alone. You might set the house on fire," she teased lightly, recalling the times her and her brother almost burnt the house down while trying to baptize the cat. Upon mention of a bonfire she brightened up, especially at the offer of going with him. "I'd love too," she answered, perhaps too eagerly. "I mean, I think it'd be really nice, thank you." she looked down when he took her hand, almost seeming to not believe that he would do such a thing. When he began to tug on her arm, she smiled softly, allowing the man to pull her to him.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin brightened as Zooey came to him. He'd pulled the girl to his lap. He was smiling up at her. "It's probably best you don't leave us alone for too long. We've been known to bring down a house." he said as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "Besides.." he started, staring into her eyes, "I'd miss you if you stayed at Mom's. Plus, I might show you what I worked on all day today..if you're really nice to me." he was smirking at her now. He was obviously playing with her. He gently led Zooey's face lower so that their noses were touching. Darrin remained almost frozen for a moment, enjoying their closeness. He looked up into Zooey's eyes, as if trying to see if she even wanted him to kiss her again. Gently, he kissed her. He slid a hand up to cup her face, holding her close to his body. His kisses started off as soft, almost innocent. Slowly, they deepened and soon, Darrin had moved them to standing once again. They were almost in the exact spot as that morning. He was assaulting Zooey with such passion as he'd never thought he'd ever show anyone. He'd loved Hannah. Deeply. With Zooey, though, it was so much stronger and bolder. The woman in his arms was his angel. The one person that had been able to save him from himself.

He pulled away slightly, still placing a soft kiss every once in a while upon Zooey's lips. "We should probably go to bed..before I do something that I shouldn't." he said, not moving to go in. He placed one last kiss upon the woman's lips. "Come on. We'll be up early." he said softly, leading Zooey back into the house. He held her hand tightly as they slowly mad their way up the stairs. Darrin walked Zooey to her bedroom door. He was staring at her. Leaning in, he kissed her again and whispered, "Goodnight. If you decide you want to join me, my door is usually unlocked." He was kidding, of course. Still, Darrin wished so badly that she would come to bed with him. He wanted to be able to lie in a bed and hold Zooey close to his body. To wake up before her and just watch her sleep. A final kiss from Darrin, he slowly turned to take the few steps back to his bedroom. He hesitated for a moment before going in. He quickly changed into long, black and red sleep pants and a white tank top. Before laying down, Darrin quickly moved the items that he'd come to hate, the pills and alcohol, to a different spot. The closet. He'd get the items before the bonfire. Darrin slowly got into bed and quickly drifted off, dreaming of the girl in the next room.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Somehow, she and Darrin ended up exactly as they were that morning. The only difference being that this was more intense, deeper. Her body was reacting to the attack on her lips, back arching to press herself against him, arms resting on his shoulders and hands clasped together behind his neck. She didn't want him to go away, didn't want to have to be further away than she had to, and at that moment, pressed together was only barely close enough. It felt like she was on fire with him, every thought or doubt eradicated from her head, the only thing she could think was him, here and now. The way he tasted, felt, all memorized then. She didn't want him to ever let her go.

But the short, soft kisses that came afterwards were just as appreciated. They were still close, with her leaning slightly against the railing behind her. His words probably would have made her blush under normal circumstances, but she was already lightheaded and too busy with him kissing her again. She allowed him to lead her into the house, somewhat reluctant as she knew the night was coming to a close, and she didn't know when it would happen again. When he would hug her, kiss her, hold her hand, put his arm around her waist, she didn't know. It was easy to figure out when it wouldn't happen, like when his mother or the children were around, which was definitely required. But when they weren't? Or around his friends, at the bonfire? There's no way she could do it, if she embarrassed him...

When she returned from her thoughts, they were in front of her door. The last kiss still lingered on her lips when he spoke to her, and she blushed. "You don't know how tempting that is," she said, and she almost wanted to follow him when he turned away. But she knew how that would look, and with a wistful sigh she went into her room. Changing into a long shirt, she climbed into bed and made an attempt to fall asleep.



That morning, Zeke was up later than usual. It was probably almost nine when he woke up, which was strange for someone who woke up at six or seven usually. Climbing out of bed, he only glanced over at his sisters bed before stumbling into the hallway, not exactly prepared for the bright light. He immediately went to his father's room, not even hesitating before opening the door and running over to the bed. "Daddy! Daddy!" he whisper-yelled, jumping onto the bed and then onto his father.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin had been sleeping heavily when all of a sudden he heard, "Daddy! Daddy!" Darrin quickly came to, seeing his son's smiling face. He smiled tiredly at the young boy. "Why good morning." he said to Zeke, reaching over for his phone. It was nine. He was waking up quickly and said, "We should probably go and wake your sister up and then Zooey." He smiled. Darrin sat up and ruffled Zeke's hair, laughing. He took off running towards the children's room, knowing that Zeke would follow. He instructed Zeke to pounce on Zaira. He waited until he had, before picking up the little girl. Zaira snuggled into Darrin's arms. Darrin quietly told her the plan. Sitting her down, the three Reed's quietly tip-toed towards Zooey's room. Darrin motioned towards the children to be quiet. He slowly opened the bedroom door. He entered and waited for the children to follow him. He followed closely behind the two small children, and soon, the two little one's were on the left side of the bed and Darrin was on the right. Darrin held up one of his hands, counting to three. The children pounced upon the bed, Zaira screaming and laughing. "Zoe, Zoe! Wake up! Daddy says it's time to get up!" she cried, looking up at her father. Darrin gently sat down on the edge of the bed, not wanting to show too much affection with the children in the room. It killed him that he could just lay with her.

The children were laughing because they'd been able to sneak up on Zooey. Darrin was smiling brightly, not seeming to care that he was still in his pjs. Zaira quickly turned to Zeke, "Come on! I'll beat you downstairs! Then I get to pick the cartoons!" With that, the little girl was off the bed and flying out of the room and downstairs, trying to beat her brother. After the children were gone, Darrin gently slid to lay down with the woman for a few moments. He wrapped an arm over Zooey's middle, pulling her closer to him and rested his head near Zooey's. "Did you sleep good?" he asked, smiling gently at the woman. He knew that they would have to get up within the next couple of minutes. The television would only occupy the children for so long before they wanted breakfast. Darrin gently kissed Zooey's soft cheek and then snuggled a bit closer to her. "If you are wanting to avoid the guys this morning you'll probably want to leave soon. Otherwise you'll never get gone." He said laughing. "Of course, now you're going to have to convince me to more. I'm comfy." he said, smiling at Zooey.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zoe's eyes shot open at the sounds of the children's shouts, Zeke taking the breath from her and he pounced directly onto her stomach. A few seconds passed before she was awake enough to, well, figure out what was happening. Immediately her eyes moved to Darrin, who had just sat on the side of her bed. Her eyes narrowed in fake anger, already having decided that this was his fault. "Hey guys," she managed tiredly, suppressing a yawn. Looking over at the alarm clock next to her, she was actually surprised to see it was later then they usually woke up. That was a plus, even though it was still much earlier than she would have preferred to have to get up.

After Darrin sent the children downstairs, she was surprised to feel Darrin slide down next to her. As soon as they had left the room she had closed her eyes, figuring their father would follow after and she would pretend as if she could go back to sleep, then reluctantly get dressed. Instead she felt an arm going around her middle, pulling her closer to the warm body next to her. She smiled then, faintly since she was still half asleep, but completely aware of the man next to her. Did you sleep good? "Mhm," she mumbled, weakly nodding her head. She finally opened her eyes when she felt his lips touch her cheek, and she pulled herself closer to him. "Guess what," she started, waiting for the obvious response of what before continuing. "Tonight, Zeke and Zaira will be at your mothers. Which means we have the whole night to ourselves, after the bonfire." she paused before adding, "And we get to sleep in tomorrow morning."

A little while later she reluctantly pulled herself away from Darrin, kissing him once before telling him the children were probably staked out in the kitchen with chocolate and candies by now. She pulled on a pair of jeans and turned her back to the man before pulling off her shirt and replacing it with yet another band tee. "I'll get the kids breakfast and we'll be out of here within the hour, I'll be back around... one-ish?" That would hopefully give the boys enough time to settle whatever happened in the past.

Quickly going downstairs, she got the children breakfast- and set out some for Darrin, too - and then dressed them once they were done. Like promised, they were all ready to leave for ice cream within the hour. They said their goodbye's before heading out to the car, ready for ice cream and a sleepover at Grandma's house.

[ Sorry to skip ahead so quickly, just figured you might want to get to introducing the band. :D ]

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin was watching Zooey as she spoke to him. "Tonight, Zeke and Zaira will be at your mothers. Which means we have the whole night to ourselves, after the bonfire." the woman paused for a second, "And we get to sleep in tomorrow morning." Darrin gently kissed Zooey's cheek once more. "I hadn't thought of that. You'll probably want some alone time or whatever you girls are calling it now." he said, smiling. He loved picking at Zooey. He sat up in the bed after receiving a kiss from Zooey. His eyes followed her as she got ready. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off of her. "I'll get the kids breakfast and we'll be out of here within the hour, I'll be back around... one-ish?" Zooey said. Darrin smiled. "You'd better be here by one, then. I'm be lonely without you." he said, smiling. He slid off of the bed and slowly made his way out, after Zooey. He decided to get dressed before heading downstairs. He walked back into his bedroom to dress. After making sure that he looked alright, he headed downstairs to find that Zooey had left him breakfast. He smiled. She was most likely getting the kids ready to leave. Darrin sat down and quickly ate. As he heard the three coming back into the kitchen, he hugged each of his children and kissed them. Darrin had eyed Zooey closely, trying to silently tell her how much he wished that he could have hugged her right then. Kissed her. He waved to them as they pulled out of the driveway.

After everyone was gone from the house, Darrin walked outside to sit in his chair. He knew that the guys would be there soon. He still wasn't nervous at all. Well, about seeing them. He was more nervous about everyone meeting Zooey. He wondered what they would think of her. Darrin hadn't been sitting outside for too long before two vehicles were pulling into the driveway. Darrin waited until the three men were out of the vehicles before standing. He smiled. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he'd missed them. All of them. They'd been through so much together and he'd tried to end everything as if they'd never known each other. Landon was the first to reach Darrin. The man was barely taller than Darrin. He quickly pulled Darrin into a tight hug which Darrin returned. Landon was the bass player and had always been well known as loving his men. His slightly higher pitched voice was happy. "I'm so glad to see you, Darrin! Ty and Damion were so pissed at you..but I knew. I knew that you'd come back once you were ready." he said, smiling and releasing his friend. Darrin smiled. Damion waved at Darrin as he walked up onto the porch Tyler followed behind Damion. He didn't look as happy but seemed less angry than Damion had the other day. Darrin led the guys into the house and into the living room. The guys all sat down around the room and began talking. Darrin told them everything that had happened the past year and a half and how it had been Zooey that had pulled him out of the terrible state that he'd been in. He'd told them of his growing addiction to alcohol and Oxycontin and how he was trying so hard to stay away from the substances. The guys also spoke, telling Darrin how hurt they'd been when he'd told them that he'd never cared for them. They'd only been there to help get him fame and fortune, to which Darrin apologized for a long time for. He'd never meant the things he'd said to them.

After several hours, Darrin looked at the time. It was almost twelve..Zooey would be there soon. Darrin smiled. Landon kept eyeing Darrin. "You look good..I mean..I can tell that you've lost a lot of weight that you really didn't need to lose..but you look happy. Happier than I've seen you in a very long time." he said. Darrin only smiled. Damion laughed. "I bet it has something to do with Zooey." Darrin then told them of how he thought that he was falling for her..really falling. He told them everything. It wasn't long until it was one o'clock. The guys were all still sitting around the living room, talking and laughing. Landon was sitting on the same couch as Darrin, each man at opposite ends. Tyler was sitting upon the floor and Damion was upon the other couch. The men didn't seem to notice when the front door opened.




Zaira was so excited to be going to get ice cream. She was already almost bouncing out of her seat. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" she kept asking Zooey. It seemed to take forever to get to the ice cream shop. Zaira allowed Zooey to help her out of the car and followed the woman. Once they were at the counter, Zaira told Zooey that she wanted the pink ice cream. Smiling, the little girl couldn't wait to try the sweet treat. She followed Zeke and Zooey as they found a table to sit at. She slowly enjoyed the ice cream, eyeing Zooey. "Zoe, can I ask you something?" the little girl asked, awaiting a response before continuing. "Do you love my Daddy?" she asked. Zaira wasn't dim. She'd noticed something was different between her father and Zooey. She'd seen how her Daddy would keep looking at the woman. Zaira's eyes stayed glued to Zooey until she got her answer.

After finishing with the ice cream, they loaded back up into the car. It was still a bit early but Zaira couldn't wait to see her granddaddy. After what had seemed like forever, they finally arrived at their grandparents' house. Zaira was practically bouncing to get out. Judith was already waiting on them outside, beaming. She couldn't believe that Zooey had been able to convince Darrin to allow her to bring Zeke and Zaira. Mick slowly made his way out of the house. He was beaming. It had been such a long time since he'd seen the kids. He was also curious about the nanny. Judith had told him that it had been her that had seemed to help pull Darrin out of himself. After Zaira was out of the car, she took off at full speed towards her graddaddy. He scooped her up into his arms, smiling. He waited for Zeke, to pick him up as well.

After everyone was inside the house, the adults were in the kitchen. Mick kept eyeing Zooey. "So, tell me Ms. Greene, exactly how you were able to help my son. Judith says that you've done wonders." he said. He listened intently to her reply. He smiled at her. "Thank you. I was afraid that we'd lost him." The adults talked for some time, Darrin's parents asking Zooey about herself and things of that nature. Before long, the clock was ticking ever closer to twelve thirty.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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After getting the children into the back of the car, she pulled out of the driveway and followed the directions on her phone, leading her to the ice cream shop that Zeke had told them they went to before. It wasn't too long a drive, maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, and she kept the children occupied with playing DJ and putting on whatever they wanted to listen to. All three of them sang, loud and not really caring what they sounded like. When she said Zaira could have been a singer like her daddy the other day, Zoe hadn't really been lying. The little girl had a good voice- for a little girl. If she really wanted to, it was probably possible. Especially since she had her own father as a teacher. That reminded her of the other night, when Darrin had taught her a bit about playing guitar. Not that she hadn't known how, but she did remember acting like she knew hardly anything, just to keep him near her. Now it seemed almost silly, and she reminded herself to mention it to Darrin. He'd probably laugh at it too. When she had woken him up, they'd been so close. No one could have guessed that this would have happened, even she was still having troubles believing it. But she was happy, and she felt that Darrin was happy too, wasn't that all that mattered?

Inside the shop, she let the children order- pink for Zaira, vanilla for Zeke -and then she ordered her own, mint chocolate chip, her favorite since like, forever. When she was littler, her favorite color had been green, so when she discovered there was green ice cream... she was determined to try it and like it. Surprisingly it was actually pretty good, and since she had never really liked chocolate or vanilla, mint stayed her favorite. Sitting down with the children, she pulled out a bunch of napkins, already sure that she would make enough a mess herself, no doubt they would too. Though she never expected Zaira to ask what she did. Zoe paused before opening her mouth to reply...



Zeke got his favorite ice cream, vanilla! The only chocolate thing he liked was chocolate milk, and he still wasn't convinced that it was actually chocolate inside the drink. His thoughts wandered back to the car, when they had all been singing. Both his sister and Zoe were good singers, but he really wasn't. Though this didn't bother him, it made him feel... a little sad. Of course his father liked Zoe and Zaira more than him, they could sing, they were like him. But Zeke, he didn't like singing, he wasn't a good singer. He had once said that he wanted to be an artist, but his mother hadn't really replied to him. It made him sad of course... but he never thought much about it until Zaira said she wanted to be a singer too, just like Daddy.

When he heard Zaira ask Zoe if she loved their Dad, Zeke glanced up at her, eying the girl nervously. Did she love his Daddy? Hopefully, that meant that she might not ever leave him, and he was pretty sure that everyone wanted Zoe around.



"I think so," she said quietly, suddenly not very hungry. Standing, she threw away the rest of the cone before sitting back down, watching both children carefully. "Don't tell your daddy though, okay? It's... a secret." If Darrin found out from them that she might potentially possibly love him, it would be terrible. What if he didn't feel the same way? Or what if he thought she was a coward or something, tell them and not him? It just, probably wouldn't go very well. Though... it could be a good thing... No, no, she couldn't get the children involved in something between her and Darrin. She shouldn't have even though that.

Awhile later they left, heading towards Judith's house. As soon as they arrived, both children threw themselves out of the car and tore towards whom she assumed was their Grandpa. He looked so happy, she couldn't help but feel a little bit proud of herself for making Darrin let them sleep over. Grabbing their bag from the back, she headed inside with them, careful to remember her manners and introduce herself and all that. It was nervewracking, especially since she had been lying with their son in a bed only an hour or two ago. Not that they knew that, or that her and Darrin had actually done anything, but it still made her nervous for some reason. When Mick turned to her to ask about Darrin, she blushed, ducking her head slightly. "I don't think I really did much... I just didn't baby or pity him like I think he was expecting everyone to do." she shrugged, really, she hadn't done much.

On the drive home, she was a wreck. Darrin could be on the floor dead, and she was out eating ice cream. Okay, that was unrealistic, but they could have hurt him or, well, anything! Alright, also unrealistic, she doubted Damion would let them do anything to Darrin. Even after getting over the frightening idea of Darrin being hurt, her nerves moved onto what the band would think of her. Maybe they wouldn't like her, or would think she was... oh, she didn't know. It just made her nervous, she felt like she needed approval from them. When she got out of the car, she had already begun scolding herself on her choice of clothing, she should have worn something better than jeans and a Fall Out Boy tee shirt. It didn't matter now, too late for her to change.

Slowly making her way in the front door, she closed it quietly before heading into the living room, where she heard the men talking. It seemed that all way okay, as she heard someone laughing before she entered. Blushing lightly, she quickly made her way over to Damion with a help me look on her face, taking a seat beside him before offering the other men a small wave. "At least the house is still in one piece," she mumbled, not entirely meaning to say it outloud.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin had watched Zooey as she mad her way over to Damion. After she'd sat down, Darrin smiled at what she said. "At least the house is still in one piece," Landon laughed. "If you were worried about us tearing the house down, you should be glad that we've not moved up to the rehearsal room yet." he said, smiling at Zooey. As if remembering his manners, he stood and moved to stand in front of Zooey. "Landon Powell and you must be Zooey." he said, offering her a hand to shake. He was smiling at her. He could see why Darrin liked her. She was everything that Hannah was not. There was nothing that Zooey could do that would remind him of that evil woman. Landon sat back down near Darrin, eyeing his friend. Tyler had remained quiet. He'd never been one to do a whole lot of talking, especially if he didn't know you very well. He nodded towards Zooey in greeting. "Tyler Oakley." he said, eyeing the girl as if trying to make a decision about her. Damion looked to Zooey. "Well I think..that we should treat Zooey to a special live performance." he said smiling. "Would you like that Zooey?" Darrin asked her, smiling. "Yes! As a thank you!" Landon put in. They had already planned on practicing at some point that day and what better time than right then? They waited for her answer.

Slowly, the guys began standing up. Darrin recalled that Zooey didn't know how much work he'd put into cleaning up the third floor. He smiled at her. The others slowly began heading upstairs. Darrin, waited for Zooey to join him before slowly taking her hand and walking with her, leading her up the stairs. He took his time, knowing that his friends were probably have a field day on the third floor. At last, the entered into the rehearsal room to find the guys quickly plugging in different items and moving a few things around. Darrin told the woman that she could sit on the couch after they moved it so that it was facing the cluster of instruments that had been freshly moved. Darrin smiled at Zooey as he watched her closely. After making sure that everything was working, the guys moved into position and performed for the girl that had helped their leader. They performed with all that they were, and it was probably surprising that the floor was holding up. Everyone looked quite happy, they were playing as if they'd never stopped. Darrin, during the performance seemed to keep his eyes mainly on Zooey. At one point, Darrin and Landon were playing back to back, Tyler all over the floor. Damion was even going at the drums as best he could. Darrin hoped that Zooey found their performance quite good. He was being quite the pessimist as of late. At the end of the song, Darrin smiled and Damion asked Zooey, "Well, what did you think?"

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zooey almost immediately decided she liked Landon. The man was attractive, just like Damion really, and he didn't seem to hate her yet, which was a plus. She wasn't sure what exactly had made her think that she could come in here and automatically they would all hate her, though it could have possibly related to Hannah. If Darrin had said anything about her to them, then they might know about her and him... about the recent things that had happened between them. Obviously they would just see her as another Hannah- why wouldn't they? -, just another girl that was going to abandon him and leave them to try and piece up their leader again. Though she knew that she could never do such a thing to the man, they didn't know that. Looking up at Landon, she smiled and shook his hand. "It's nice to meet you," she said, only raising an eyebrow at Darrin when the man knew her name without her having to actually said it. So he apparently did talk about her, great. The man sitting on the floor looked quite intimidating, but she did her best to ignore it. "Hey Tyler," she said, again offering him a wave. At the mention of a live performance she brightened, looking over at Damion as if he was just playing. "Really? I would love you guys forever if you did that."

She smiled when Darrin took her hand, and she stayed close to him as they made their way upstairs. The other men had already run up, no doubt excited to play and see the room they hadn't been in for years and used to treasure so much. When her and Darrin entered though, she was sort of shocked. "That's what you were doing?" she whispered to Darrin, still staring at the spotless room. "Cleaning?" she nearly squeaked, definitely not expecting it. Almost numbly, she made her way over to the couch and pulled her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on her knees as she watched the men perform. One thing she noticed was during the song, Darrin's eyes were almost always on her. Hers were locked on him for the most part too, but she tore her eyes away to watch Damion beating on the drums, or Tyler who was... well, everywhere. By the end, she was probably glowing from happiness. Damion was the first to say something when it was over, and she managed to tear her eyes off the singer to look over at him. "That was easily the most... amazing thing ever." she said softly, already wanting to run to Darrin and hug and kiss him.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin was smiling as Zooey said, "That was easily the most... amazing thing ever." Darrin gently placed his guitar upon its stand and made his way over to Zooey and sat down with her. "Maybe if you're lucky you'll get to hear us again soon." Landon said smiling brightly. He could tell that he was going to love Zooey. She seemed to actually care about Darrin and what he did. "Well, we are going to head downstairs for some food." said Damion, quickly walking out of the room. The others seemed to have the same idea and followed, leaving Zooey and Darrin alone in the large rehearsal room. He looked at her, gently leaning towards her, placing a soft and gentle kiss to Zooey's soft lips. "It's not been too bad has it?" he asked, worrying that Zooey wasn't having fun spending time with the guys. "They probably won't stay too late..we'll probably start up the fire right after supper." The handsome man gently took Zooey's hand into his own, and stood pulling her up with him. Before walking out of the room, Darrin pulled Zooey into a tight hug. "Thank you. For everything. I mean it. I know that I'm terrible with stuff like this..and I may not always say it..but..I really do appreciate everything that you do for my kids..for me." he said, his voice slowly going quiet. He was staring into Zooey's eyes again. "Come on. Before they decide we've been up here for too long."

Darrin led the way downstairs to the kitchen. The guys looked like they'd raided the fridge. Darrin laughed. "You could have saved some for later, you know." Tyler threw a piece of bread towards the couple. "You have to watch out around them, they like to play with their food." Darrin warned. He led Zooey to a safer area in the kitchen. He quickly fixed them something to eat and handed Zooey her plate. Darrin ate, and talked with the guys but stayed near Zooey. "You know, Zooey," Landon said looking over to the woman, "I think you are by far the awesomest person ever. Much cooler than...you know who." It was obvious to everyone exactly who Landon was talking about. "Landon...we know who you're talking about." Damion said laughing. The guys were all having a good time. Tyler, had recently become engaged. Damion was dating two different girls. and Landon had a life partner. They were trying to include Zooey in on their discussions. They spent the next couple of hours just talking and getting to know each other once again. Darrin had remained very close to Zooey during their meal. The guys didn't seem to even mind. It was almost as if they'd already accepted her as part of the circle. Darrin was glad. He was back to holding her hand, keeping her close to him.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Zooey was already moving closer to Darrin on the couch, her attention had immediately went to him when he came closer. Though she heard Landon talk and she looked up at him, smiling and nodding. He seemed extremely nice, at least he had been so far. "I hope so," she managed. As soon as Damion mentioned food, all of the guys seemed to quickly leave the room, but she wasn't quite sure if it was just because of the food or if her and Darrin had something to do with it. Either way, she didn't care, it gave her a few minutes to be alone with him. Zoe stayed close to Darrin even after he kissed her. "It's been perfect." She smiled, trying to reassure him that she was having a wonderful time. "Really, you know that I like Damion, and I already love Landon," she shook her head, laughing quietly. "Tyler seems like a lot of work though, I thought he was going to like... bite me or something." Almost reluctantly, she stood and was about to go towards the stairs when Darrin pulled her into a hug, taking her by surprise. After a moment she relaxed, pulling back enough to be able to kiss him once more. "You don't have to say it, I know you do." As they went towards the exit, she walked closer to Darrin, not wanting to be away from him again.

The girls eyes got wide when she saw the mess the men had made, only narrowly avoiding the piece of bread that was thrown at them. Narrowing her eyes at him, she picked up the bread and tossed it out, figuring she would have to do it sooner or later anyways. "Great, so now I've got four children to look after," she shook her head, clearly teasing. Without her even realizing what he had been doing, Darrin had made her something to eat. After thanking him she picked at the food, and by the end she had nearly finished it all. Landon spoke up- again making her like him more than Tyler -, saying they she was the awesomest person ever. Zoe rolled her eyes, "Obviously. Who else besides the most awesomest of awesome people gets to sit and eat with one of her favorite bands?" She paused, "Wow, just realized how much of a nerd I am." It wasn't really a surprise, she was the girl who would rather sit at home with her PS2 rather than go shopping or something equally as weird. When Damion mentioned he was dating two different girls, Zoe nearly choked on her food, otherwise staying quiet. Right about then she was very happy she hadn't gone anywhere with him.

The few hours before the bonfire passed quickly, even if Zooey wasn't in much of the conversation. It was enjoyable just to hear about it all, like it had been with her, Darrin, and Damion the first day. She knew they tried to include her, and most of the time she was able to keep up with it, but her mind was elsewhere. Glancing over at the handsome man next to her, she smiled, searching his face for the one thing that she had wanted for him all along. Happiness.

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Character Portrait: Darrin Reed Character Portrait: Zooey Greene
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Darrin was listening as Landon was speaking to Zooey. It was Zooey's reply that forced him to look at her. "Obviously. Who else besides the most awesomest of awesome people gets to sit and eat with one of her favorite bands?" Zooey said, "Wow, just realized how much of a nerd I am." Darrin smiled brightly at the woman near him. "So, we're your favorite band? Tell me, who's always been your favorite band member?" Damion said, smiling. He wondered what she would say. As they spoke and laughed, Darrin kept stealing glances at Zooey. He just couldn't help himself. He was almost drawn to her. He couldn't imagine not having her near to him. She seemed to help keep him grounded and thanks to her, he was slowly getting his life back. After the guys were all done eating, Damion , Tyler, and Landon all headed out the door to begin getting the bonfire ready. Darrin hung back, fully intending on cleaning up the kitchen. He'd always been the cleaner of the four. He couldn't stand for the house to be messy. He slowly began clearing the table and bringing the dishes into the kitchen. Darrin eyed Zooey for a moment. "If you want, go ahead and head outside. I'll just be a second." he said softly, smiling happily at the woman. Darrin took his time though, cleaning up the kitchen. At last, the large room was spotless again.

He made his way out of the house to go and find everyone. They were all around the back of the house where the large fire pit was. Once upon a time, Darrin would occasionally light a fire there and allow the kids to roast marshmallows. It had been some time since they'd done that. Darrin made his way to Zooey's side, taking her hand once more. The guys all seemed to be laughing and joking around, as usual. What Darrin didn't know, was that Landon had tried to talk to Zooey about the reason for the bonfire. He'd not known that Darrin hadn't told her why he wanted to hold one. He wondered if she was asked the other man about it. At some point during the day, all of the guys had already brought their things outside to toss into the fire. Each person had a different item. Damion had brought a large black book that he usually kept all of his 'female friends's" phone numbers and such. Tyler had brought his stash of weed. He'd been working so hard at quitting and thought that it would be a good time to get rid of the large bag. Landon brought a copy of each of their cds, on vinyl. Darrin had told him that the bonfire would sort of represent a rebirth and what better way than by getting rid of their past success? Allow fresh thoughts to flow. Darrin had fixed together a large bottle that had been almost completely full of alcohol which he'd poured the rest of his pills into it. As a last thought, Darrin had slid in the last photo of Hannah into the liquid. If he was to move on, he needed to rid himself of everything that had caused him to fall.

Once the sun had begun to set, they began. Darrin remained quieter than normal, keeping Zooey close to him. He kept her hand in his as they stood near the flames. The others had spread out around the fire in a circle after having handed out the items to everyone. Landon began speaking, going over the reasoning for the fire once again. Telling of how this would signify the rebirth of Unfinished belief. The silence held for a long moment. It seemed that noone wanted to go first. Darrin shook his head. He would have to do it. Taking a deep breath, Darrin quickly tossed the bottle into the flames, instantly shattering the glass making the flames roar. The others all smiled towards Darrin and Zooey and then proceeded to one by one toss in their items. After this was done, Darrin began to sing, the guys slowly joining in where they needed to.




As it got to be around seven o'clock, they'd put out the fire. The guys sadly informed Darrin and Zooey that they needed to be going. The couple walked the guys to their vehicles. The guys hugged both Darrin and Zooey. Darrin was smiling brightly. Landon lingered for a moment, keeping the woman in his arms. "I'm glad that you're here. I can see that you are exactly what he needed. Don't let him go." he whispered as he slowly released her. Slowly, the guys waved and got into their vehicles and left. Darrin gently took hold of Zooey's hand to lead her back to the house. As they were making their way up the steps to the porch, he asked, "So, what were you wanting to do now. You know, since we have the house all to ourselves." He was grinning, playing with her. He'd recalled what she'd said earlier about them being alone and was turning it back to her. He paused once they'd reached the top of the porch, staring into Zooey's eyes.