Author's note: Hey! It's me again uploading another one-shot. For the ones who read "In that wedding dress", as the summary says, this is the prequel, from Darcy's point of view. Some details from my other story will be explained here. For the ones who haven't read "In that wedding dress", don't worry, you don't exactly have to read that one to understand its prequel, but if you'd like you can check it out too. Also, as the other story, this one-shot was sort of inspired by a song, a song I recently became obsessed with, it's Adele's "I found a boy", so you can listen to it while reading this story. I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed writing it. Till next time!

Summary: Prequel to "In that wedding dress", Darcy-centric."Moving on wasn't easy, it took me several years, until I finally found a boy who I love more than I ever loved you."

I love him more

It is funny how ironic life is sometimes, and that is something Darcy Smiths had learned recently. She was lying in her bed; her long curly brown hair spread in her pillow, her wide open eyes had a distant look in them, and her breathing was quicker than usual; she was incapable of sleeping, so much was going on with her life, there was so much she needed to think of, before she could fall asleep without feeling uneasy, and again, it was all his fault.

Not even in her wildest dreams had Darcy imagined that her past would come back to her life once again; the past is the past, right? So why was it coming back to bite her? She couldn't answer, but she could reflect on the events that had changed her, in more ways than she cared to explain.

Thirteen years ago, she fell in love with her best friend, Carl Bailey; that was the first time she had learned to love somebody, truthfully and deeply. She was barely fifteen, what did she know about love? That's why Darcy didn't realize that he was playing with her pure heart. There never was a love confession, there were no kisses or cheesy lines, but everything Carl said and did suggested that he felt the same way…How wrong Darcy was to believe in his words.

Eventually, her heart somehow had a rest when Carl left their hometown to attend a prestigious high school. The goodbye had hurt her more than she dared to admit, but Carl's disappearance from her life had given Darcy the chance to realize that maybe Carl had never returned her feelings; still, her naïve heart was too stubborn to let her love for Carl vanish; Darcy held so strongly onto it, that nothing and no one could make her forget about him. Yet, the young Darcy knew things couldn't just stay unsaid, she needed to tell him how just much she loved him.

Ten years ago, when Carl returned to their hometown for Christmas break, Darcy was prepared to confess her three-year-long love. Darcy was now eighteen, she considered herself to be mature enough to control her emotions and just plainly say what she need to tell him; sadly, Carl ditched her at the last minute, which caused them to have a very nasty, ridiculous and heartbreaking argument over the phone. To sum it up, in that phone call Carl told her that he had never cared for her, that there were million girls like her, that he didn't need her nor love her. What was left of Darcy's heart was destroyed in that single conversation. She cut off any sort of communication with him, and lost total contact with him.

Forgetting her first love wasn't easy, it was even more difficult trying to love again; Darcy's first love experience had created in her a fear of commitment, a fear of loving in general. But now things have changed, she was now a beautiful, confident and successful tweny-eight woman who had finally given love a chance. Two years ago, as her writing career had risen, she met a famous photographer named Ryan Adams, who she had considered insanely handsome with his twinkling green eyes, soft red hair and dreamy smile; Ryan appeared to have an interest on her as well, for right after he finished photographing her for her book's publishing advertisements, he asked her out on a date; of course, her answer was yes.

Every aspect in her life was in place, she was successful, she enjoyed her job, she had a loving and supporting family and, most importantly, Darcy thought she had finally found her true love; just as everything seemed to be perfect, something ─or more like someone─ had to come and ruin her perfectly balanced life. Carl Bailey, after not seeing him for the past ten years, was back in her life.

Their reunion was much unexpected and it seemed surreal; first of all, they had met in another city that wasn't their hometown, and Darcy had to ask herself what were the odds of that happening; next, he was a lawyer, she was a writer, they moved in two very different social circles, so how could they have crossed paths again? Was this destiny acting on their lives? The answer to that question was unknown but she accepted her fate, and even though Darcy was reluctant at first, she ended up inviting Carl into her life once again.

Carl had grown, she noticed, he was no longer that scrawny and arrogant boy she once knew, but now he was the intelligent, confident and successful lawyer he had always dreamed of becoming. Carl didn't act as a smartass anymore, nor did he get cocky over everything as he did in the past; he was more understanding than he was as a teenager and he could express himself more openly too. His looks had improved too; he had finally forgotten about using his brown hair long, and now it was short; his body was toned and more muscular; his face was manlier and even looked sexy; but his eyes, oh those eyes she used to love so, remained the same. Yes, he grew up to become the man Darcy had always known he would be, a man every woman would feel lucky of having…even her.

Darcy had to admit that she had felt attracted to him, and how couldn't she? They had history, plus there was chemistry between them, a chemistry no one could deny it had always existed, even when they were teens. Following her desires, she started hanging out more with Carl, rediscovering all the things that had made her fall for him in the past; in essence, he was the same sweet boy who had melted her heart thirteen years ago.

Sooner than she thought, his charm seemed to make his way through her soul, as it had always done; it was difficult not to give into temptation, especially when it was obvious he was falling in love with her. And just as she thought that her teenage dreams could finally come true, realization hit her like a ton of bricks, reminding her of the reason she couldn't be with Carl, and that reason was her loyal boyfriend.

As a fifteen-year-old, Darcy had thought that she needed a Prince Charming, somebody who would save her from the dark; yet, know she finally understood that the kind of person she needed was someone who would stand by her side, comforting her, helping her overcome her problems, loving her unconditionally, someone like Ryan. It was unsurprising that she had learned to love him more than she ever thought she would. And that's why, when he asked her to marry him, she eagerly said yes.

Still, things didn't change with Carl; he was a wise man, he had to know that seeing each other so often wasn't good, and he was stronger than her too, so Carl should've been able to just put space between them, the thing is he didn't. With everything he said and did, Carl showed her that he loved her, that this time he was for real; it was obvious Carl was not just hoping that she would crumble to her knees and leave Ryan, he was actually expecting Darcy to take that decision. Oh, the situation was too ironic for Darcy's taste; exactly when Darcy didn't need Carl, he started wanting her…It was too much to take in.

"Are you sure you want to get married?" Carl had asked her that afternoon, leaving her astonished.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I should marry him." Darcy had said truthfully. "Why do you ask?" She then added, looking curiously at her friend.

"Nothing…it's just that, don't you think you're rushing things? You have known him for what? Barely two years now?" He said, his chocolate eyes staring right through hers.

"Two years is more than enough time to know someone, Carl. I'm sure he loves me and will never do anything to hurt me." She answered him, making eye contact.

"Yeah, he loves you, but…do you love him? I mean, do you think, for sure, he's the one for you? Don't you think that, maybe, there is someone else out there that's your real soul mate?" Carl said quickly, breathing heavily; Darcy didn't need to be a psychic to know that for someone else he meant himself.

Darcy stayed quiet for a while, avoiding Carl's eyes and looking to the beautiful scenery in front of her. They both were sitting in the sand, staring at the sea; the beach had always been Darcy's favorite place, specially the one they were at; Ryan had taken her a lot of times to that same place, where they would just mess around and have fun, enjoying each other's company.

Ryan. Did she love Ryan? Of course she did, how couldn't she when Ryan, since day one, had proven to be someone Darcy could trust, someone she could rely on; in her darkest day, Ryan had always been there, comforting her, advising her, just loving her; and that's exactly what she needed the most.

No, the question didn't rely if she loved Ryan or not, the question was, did she think he was the one? She had never asked herself that, she had just assumed it. Was this what she really wanted? Settling for Ryan? Could she love him wholeheartedly even if Carl, the man she used to love the most, was back in her life?

After some minutes in silence, finally Darcy turned to look at Carl and smiled.

"Yes, I truly love him, and yes, I think he's the one for me; he makes me laugh, he comforts me and supports me whenever I need, he has never judged me or hurt me in any way. He understands me better than anyone and, whenever I'm with him, I… I feel complete." Darcy said and both fell once again into silence.

That was why she couldn't sleep, even if she had told Carl she was sure Ryan was the one, she still had her doubts when she returned home that evening. Darcy had remained awake for some hours now, reflecting and asking herself if her decisions were the right ones; and, after thinking about it, she had finally come to a conclusion.

I'm no longer yours, Carl. You must be mistaken if you thought that I could fall for you once again. I can't run into your arms when I found a boy who loves me more than you ever did and you ever will, and he is right next to me.

Darcy thought, as she lay in her bed next to Ryan, who was fast asleep, breathing softly. She smiled softly and tenderly caressed his red locks.

I admit it, moving on wasn't easy, it took me several years until I finally found a boy who I love more than I ever loved you.

Finally, her heart was at rest, she had found the right person for her; the only thing that saddened her was Carl's situation, but, since she had already been there, she was sure she would get over her and move on, finding his own happiness.

Her thoughts were interrupted when the man next to her shifted and, slowly, opened his eyes; as Ryan saw Darcy, he smiled softly at her, bringing his left hand to cup her cheek. Darcy smiled at him and leaned in to kiss him.

"You know I love you, right?" After the kiss, Darcy asked him. Ryan smiled at her, after hearing her words.

"I know." Ryan said, and as Darcy tried to kiss him again, he added. "Even if you're sometimes distant, I know you love me, that you haven't stopped loving me, not even after he came back." With that, he made Darcy understand that he knew all about her own doubts, which came with Carl's arrival. Darcy felt guilty of ever have thought of leaving someone was great as Ryan.

"I'm sorry if I hurt you…I…I didn't mean to…" She tried to explain herself, but her fiancée silenced her.

"Shush, you don't have to feel guilty, I trust you, and I understand that having him back made you feel confused; I'm just glad you chose me, because I love so much to let you go." Ryan admitted, and then proceeded to kiss her passionately.

Yes, Darcy was sure she could be happy with Ryan by her side, and more importantly, she was now entirely sure that she too could love Ryan to the fullest and make him happy. With these thoughts in mind, Darcy fell asleep, dreaming about her upcoming wedding.