A Stranger for a Friend

6- Stories

The alarm woke them all in the morning. Adam was stretched out on the other bed. Hunter had his arms still around the Daniel/girl, her head tucked under his chin. She woke first.

"OH GOD!" her voice finally woke the boys. "SHIT!" She began moving, stealing the sheet from Hunter.

"Hey, hey, calm down." Hunter reached a hand out comfortingly but she batted it away. "Adam, why didn't you wake me up?" his friend grinned sheepishly.

"You guys looked so funny together. And you looked tired." Hunter rolled his eyes and focused back on the Daniel/girl.

"We, um, didn't tell anyone but your shoulder, it's really messed up."

"Thanks, I hadn't noticed."

"Hey, no need to be bitchy. You can have the bathroom as long as you want; we'll put the door back on."

"You took the door off?" she asked in disbelief. Holding the sheet like a toga she inspected the door. "You tried to pick the lock." She said, touching the handle. "Got the bottom hinge pin first." She turned on the boys. "Why? You don't even like me. I've been nothing but mean to you. Why?"

"You were bleeding and you wouldn't answer the door." Hunter supplied while she padded back to the bed.

"Why are you dressed like a guy anyway?" The Daniel/girl sat at the head of the bed, wrapped in her comforter. She stared at Hunter (at the foot of the bed) and Adam (on the other bed) as she tried to think up an explanation.

"How about you start with your real name?" Hunter suggested.

"Danielle Morriset." She answered as if it was real.

"Why'd you come to Clarence?" Erika's mind connected all the clich├ęd movies she'd seen like this.

"The better writing program. But you can't tell anyone, my parents think I'm at an all girls school." Erika acted as best she could, she was never caught in a lie. Adam seemed happy with this explanation.

"Always thought you were rather small." He smiled at Daniel/Danielle and left. Hunter didn't look so convinced. He studied her critically.

"Why don't your parents send you care packages?" Erika let her face fall, as if Hunter had caught her lie. She pushed tears out of her eyes and hugged the blanket closer. Crying bought her time to create a plausible lie. She 'pulled herself together' and began laying ground work.

"What have you heard about the Chicago Cop Killings?"

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"I'm from Chicago. Daddy was a detective."

"I'm supposed to believe that." Erika fully transformed into Danielle.

"Well I don't know. I just happened to get shot by a random bullet, not some 'gansta' who thought he killed me. I just happened to know a lot of martial arts because it was fun, not heaven for bid that Daddy was afraid I'd get raped in the city. Hell, believe whatever you want!" she was so into character she didn't even have to summon the tears of frustration, they came naturally. Bless the Lord for her cousin's tales of inner city horror. Like most guys, Hunter didn't know how to react to a crying girl any better than a passed out one.

"Um, sorry?"

"Jesus, yes, you should be." She glared at him.

"So you're like in Witness Protection then?"

"Yeah," sniffled the slightly calmer girl. "I was with mom in the suburbs but they found us. I'm old enough to testify with out a legal guardian." Hunter took in the deeper meaning of that.

"Listen, I know I'm, uh, crap to talk to but if you uh, ever need someone, my sister visits once a month. She could also, like, bring you stuff." He looked impatient and he fidgeted.

"Thanks, and I also forgive you fro being a jackass to me from the start." Hunter looked relieved, in a way.