A/N: Hello all! I just want you to know how happy I am with the amount of feedback you guys gave me on the last chapter! It really means a lot to me that you guys haven't given up on this story and have been so patient with me. Oh, and if you're interested in seeing what they look like, the link to Taryn's dress and heels is in my polyvore collection, which is on my profile. With that being said, here's chapter 11!

RubyFlash321 – Why, thank you! I really wanted to foreshadow what was gonna happen eventually between them. Plus, no matter how hard she tries to, Taryn just can't resist Lash XD

Flowerchild23 – Thank you so much! I really wanted to incorporate a lot of Livingstrong moments in this chapter and I'm really glad you enjoyed them!

flaca110medrano – Thanks! I really appreciate that, and trust me, I'll try! XD

Yugioh13 – Thank you! They're definitely drawn to each other like a moth to a flame. As much as Taryn tried not to, she fell for Lash and she knows there's no turning back now XD

angie110flaca – Don't worry, I intend to! XD

IronhideLvr5513 – Oh yeah, Lash's definitely easy on the eyes, that's for sure ;) Sadly, that was the conclusion of the Taryn/Lash scene, but don't fret, they'll be more to come this chapter.

Guest – Will do! :)

Mrs. Malfoy99 - *starts to cry tears of joy* Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That compliment just made my day and I'm really ecstatic that you're enjoying my story so much! :D

Rolling onto my side, I opened my eyes and yawned. To my surprise (and disappointment), Lash was gone. I quirked a brow as something on the bedside table caught my eye: a red lily and a note. Leaning over, I picked up the lily and breathed in its sweet scent before turning my attention to the note and read it aloud,

"Hey, girl on fire,

Sorry for not sticking around. I didn't want to wake you because you looked like you were having a very good dream. Probably one about me ;) Alright, I'm rambling, so I'm just gonna go ahead and cut to the chase, I know this is last minute, but I was wondering if you wanted to go to Homecoming with me tonight? That is, if you don't already have a date. Although, I think it's safe to say that the answer to that question is most likely "no" after what happened last night. I'll meet you at the bus stop at seven-ish. Oh, and wear something smokin' hot (pun intended) ;)

- Love, Lash"

I had a smile on my face that was probably the size of Russia by the time I finished reading the letter. Who would've thought, huh? I was going to Homecoming with the Lash. We'd gone from angry, playfully arguing and trying to rip each other's heads off, to kissing each other until we were out of breath and actually having civil conversations.

That's when I suddenly realized something: I DIDN'T HAVE A DRESS OR HEELS! Then again, I wasn't planning on going to Homecoming until now! Shit, okay, I could do this. Operation "Find a damn dress and heels" has officially commenced!

"Aunt Josie! Aunt Josie!" I yelled, running down the stairs at a speed that Barry Allen would be proud of. "Look, I know I picked the worst possible time to ask this, but could you please take me to the mall so I can pick out a dress and shoes for Homecoming tonight?!"

She set the phone down and then turned to me. "Of course, Taryn. Ironically, I was just about to ask you if you intended on going with us tonight. So, tell me, who's the lucky guy?"

I felt my cheeks heat up as I looked down and mumbled, "…. Lash."

"I figured as much," she replied with a smile. "Well, all the more reason to find you the perfect dress. Now, go get dressed and we'll leave in say… a half hour?"

I nodded determinedly. "Deal!"

After an hour and a half of trying on probably fifty dresses, I finally decided on a black strapless one with a floral applique pattern throughout. It didn't take us long to find some shoes to go with, which I was very happy about.

As soon as we got home, I thanked her and jogged upstairs to my room to get ready. After I'd finished curling my hair and putting on some makeup, I glanced over at the shopping bag my dress was in.

Taking a deep breath, I carefully lifted it out of the bag and stared at it. "This is it, no turning back now," I mumbled, before taking off my robe.

"Oh my God, you look so beautiful!" Aunt Josie –or rather, Jetstream- gushed as I slowly walked downstairs.

"What is it?" Uncle Steve, who was also donning his superhero gear, inquired as he walked in. Once he saw me, he stopped dead in his tracks and smiled. "You look great, Taryn. Now, as you probably know, your aunt and I are gonna be at the dance as well to accept the Hero of the Year award. Do you need us to give you a lift to the dance since we're about to leave?"

"No need," I replied, shaking my head. "I'm gonna meet Lash at the bus stop and Ron's gonna give us both a ride."

He nodded. "Alright then, we'll see you there. Oh, and have fun tonight."

"Will do!"

I tried to keep my palms from sweating as I made my way towards the bus stop. I couldn't believe I was getting nervous. I mean, this was Lash we were talking about! I never thought (nor did I intend to) grow feelings for… someone like him. It felt both wrong and right, but I didn't want to think about that right now. All I wanted to think about was how amazing this night was going to be.

"Holy shit," Lash murmured as I walked towards him, his eyes drinking in the sight of me. "You look…"

"Hot?" I smirked, before stopping right in front of him and putting my hands on my hips. Unlike yesterday, he definitely went all out with his stripes tonight, but I wasn't complaining.

"Actually, I was gonna say stunning, but you definitely look hot too," he replied, gently taking my hand and sliding something onto my wrist. A corsage with a dark red lily on it, much like the lily one he'd left for me this morning.

"Why, thank you…. Stretch," I said teasingly, linking my arm with his as the bus pulled up.

I couldn't help but be shocked once we'd entered the gym. I had to hand it to the Homecoming Committee; they definitely outdid themselves this time. Since Gwen was their president, I was honestly expecting the gym to look like inside of Barbie's dream house, or something along those lines…

Glancing over, I spotted Layla and Ethan by the snack table. I really wanted to go talk to them, but I also didn't want to ditch Lash.

"Go ahead," he spoke up, before placing a kiss on my temple. "I'll go find Speed and you can come find me when you're done."

"Works for me," I replied.

"Taryn, you look awesome!" Layla exclaimed, pulling me into a hug as I made my way towards them.

"Thanks, girl!" I said, giving her a once over. "And you look very nice tonight yourself, Layla."

Layla had ditched her normal hippy-esque attire and braids for the night, and opted for a long, green dress and waterfall curls. She really did look radiant.

"Thank you!" she beamed.

"So, where's Warren at?" I asked, glancing around. "I thought for sure he'd be here by now."

"I am." a deep voice said behind us. Both of us immediately turned around to face him. Layla wasn't the only one who looked nice tonight. Warren was donning a tuxedo and he'd also decided to keep his hair down.

"I've gotta say Peace, you really clean up nice," I said, nodding my head in approval.

"Thanks, Taryn," he replied, giving me a small smirk.

"I thought you weren't going to rent a tux?" Layla inquired.

"It's my dad's. He doesn't have much use for it in solitary," he mumbled.

And this conversation just went from good to awkward…

Layla was quick to change the subject and quickly grabbed a random hors d'oeuvre off the snack table and held it up to him. "Cheese cube?"

Warren just gave her a weird look while I rubbed my temple.

"Way to lighten the mood, Layla," I snickered, playfully nudging her.

"So, where's Rubber Boy at?" Warren cut in. "I saw you guys walk in together… Wait; don't tell me he ditched you to go talk to that fat douche?"

"Easy there, Warren," I said playfully. "We agreed to catch up with our friends first, so no, he didn't ditch me. However, I do wanna share a dance or two with him before the night ends, so I'll catch ya'll later."

"Miss me already?" Lash joked as I walked over to him.

"You could say that," I replied with a giggle as he wrapped his arm around his waist.

He turned his head to look over at the dance floor for about five seconds, and then he looked at me again. "Wanna dance?" he asked quietly, a small blush appearing on his cheeks.

"I thought you'd never ask," I said, giving him a wink before intertwining my fingers with his.

We were strangers, starting out on a journey

Never dreaming, what we'd have to go through

Now here we are, I'm suddenly standing

At the beginning with you

I couldn't help but smile at the song choice as our bodies began to sway to the music in the middle of the dance floor. I tangled my fingers in his hair as they rested on the back of his neck. He pulled me closer to him with one arm while he tenderly stroked my cheek with his thumb.

No one told me I was going to find you

Unexpected, what you did to my heart

When I lost hope, you were there to remind me

This is the start

And life is a road that I wanna keep going

Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing

Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning

I'll be there when the storm is through

In the end I wanna be standing

At the beginning with you

I smiled at him as he spun me outward and then back into his arms, where he held me in a warm embrace. "You know, it seems like only yesterday you were asking me to call you and I answered your request by flipping you off," I murmured, resting my head on his chest.

He chuckled and lightly kissed my head. "You forgot to mention that you also burned my hand."

I lifted my head upwards to look at him. "Hey, I tried to warn you, but no, you decided to add more fuel to the fire."

Lash smirked and lifted his hand to brush a stray curl away from my face and tucked it by my ear, casually tracing his fingers along my jawline after he did so. "I've gotta say though, getting burned by you more times than I can count was definitely worth it."

"And why's that?"

"Because I got you in the end."

We were strangers

On a crazy adventure

Never dreaming that dreams would come true

Now here we stand unafraid of the future

At the beginning with you

And life is a road I wanna keep going

Love is a river I want to keep flowing

Life is road now and forever

Wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning

I'll be there when the storm is through

In the end I wanna be standing

At the beginning with you

At that point, Lash leaned down and pressed his lips against mine, causing a sudden burst of passion to explode within me once more. His tongue grazed my bottom lip, and I willingly granted him entry. He used his elasticity to wrap his arms around me, and I retaliated by grabbing a fistful of his shirt and pulling him closer.

Knew there was somebody somewhere

Like me alone in the dark

Now that my dream will live on

I've been waiting so long

Nothings gonna tear us apart

And life is a road I wanna keep going

Love is a river I want to keep flowing

Life is road now and forever

Wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning

I'll be there when the storm is through

In the end I wanna be standing

At the beginning with you

Life is a road and I wanna keep going

Love is a river I want to keep going on

Starting out on a journey

Life is a road I wanna keep going

Love is a river I want to keep flowing

In the end I want to be standing at the beginning

With you

As the music faded out, Lash pulled away and brought my hand to his lips, gently kissing my knuckles. Then, a bright light suddenly swiveled towards the entrance of the gym, where the Commander and Jetstream stood.

"Welcome! The Commander and Jetstream!" Principal Powers announced. She stood behind a podium that was positioned towards the back of the gym.

"Hey, you wanna get out of here for a minute?" Lash suddenly murmured in my ear. "There's something I need to tell you."


As soon as we were out of the gym, Lash tightened his grip on my wrist and started to pick up the pace. Since I was wearing heels, it was almost impossible to keep up with him.

"Whoa, speedy, where's the fire?" I asked jokingly as he kept looking over his shoulder. "Look, we're all alone now and I highly doubt any teachers are gonna walk in on us if we decide to go in a classroom and-"

"Taryn, I need you to listen to me, alright?!" he suddenly cut my off, stopping dead in his tracks and putting his hands on my shoulders. "Look, the reason why I brought you out here is to keep you safe from what's about to happen. I don't have enough time to explain, so please forgive me for what I'm about to do."

"Lash, what are you saying-" Before I could question him any further, he abruptly tightened his grip on my shoulders and viciously hurled me against one of the lockers. An agonizing moan escaped my lips as the immediate pain rushed through my body faster than a bullet leaving a gun. My vision began to fade as I felt myself being lifted up.

"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," he said quietly, before gently pressing his lips to my cheek. And then, darkness consumed me.