a/n - I re-read this chapter and realised how bad the grammar was so I reposted it, new and improved. I don't think I changed the sotry itself though.

I had lived in Phoenix city my whole life. I knew nothing of the world outside of the capital of Arizona. But there I was in the back of the black Mercedes my father had rented on my way to Deer Valley airport. I watched out the tinted windows at the familiar scenery flashing by me in the broad sunlight. A café I'd been to there, a cinema I visited regularly here, the streets I walked along so often, now, most likely, the last time I would ever see them. Why did I have to go? My life was right there in that city. My friends…my….my…Okay…maybe I just didn't want to leave because this life was all I knew. The reason I was moving was because my father was a wealthy business man. He'd had much success in life but was bored of the easy life so he decided to open up a business in the northeast of England, Newcastle upon Tyne to be precise. Why there I will never know. All I know is that that decision had a very big effect on my life. I had spent the last sixteen years in phoenix and despite my protests I was dragged to some English city. I was sitting in the car with my father, who was driving, and my heedless older brother who was humming along to some mindless song. There had always been a mutual feeling of hate between my brother and me. Jed was now nineteen but still lived off my father's earnings. He didn't work, he wasn't in any education of sorts and he… well he did nothing. You may ask about my mother. Where was she? My mother died three years beforehand due to a severe case of blood poisoning. It was torture for me to watch as her state of health slowly diminished. In the end I was thankful that her pain had ended, that she no longer needed to face the pain and suffering, no longer needed to face this world. I guess that's one reason I both want to leave and I don't. Leaving would mean leaving the painful memories, but leaving would also mean leaving my mother's grave behind.

"We're here." My father exclaimed happily as he stopped the car. In the deep state of thought I had been in I had not noticed that we had arrived. I climbed out of the car and slung my customised backpack on my back. I then proceeded in unloading my red suitcase from the boot. My father had already had most of our things transported over there, to our new 'home'. The time spent in the airport seemed to stand still. After what seemed like forever we were sitting on the plane to England. Considering I had never been on a plane before I was not fazed by the travelling. I sat in the window seat listening to my music. Music meant a lot to me. I couldn't live if I didn't have music and those calming lyrics. The plane journey lasted even longer than the time spent in the airport. I didn't eat, I wasn't hungry, and I couldn't face eating. After what seemed like forever I felt the plane land on the hard surface of the runway. We went through the whole ritual of collecting our luggage and found our way outside. The sky was grey and overcast, just like how I felt. My father led us over to a burly-looking man standing in front of a black Rolls Royce Phantom. After loading into the car we were on our way to our new 'home'. The car pulled up outside of a small, three-bed roomed detached house. It wasn't much compared to our old home back in Phoenix. We piled out of the car and I headed straight for my room as soon as my father opened the front door. He called after me but I didn't hear him. I just wanted to be alone. My room had been readily decorated for me. My father had allowed me to choose the décor for my room, and that I had done. I knew I would most likely spend most of my time in there so I might as well have it decorated well. The walls were a deep blood red; the floor was black laminated flooring with a furry blood red rug in the centre next to the bed. The bedding matched the rest of the room, black and red, while the ceiling was painted in imitation of the cloudless night sky. The bed itself was a king-sized, four-poster bed with a gothic style about it. All of the furniture has a gothic style about it, all made from ebony wood and beautifully carved. I left my suitcase where it stood, next to my closed and locked door, and flopped onto the plush bed. I was both physically and mentally tired and without even realizing it I fell asleep lying there on my bed.

I awoke the next day to my hapless brother, Jed's, weight pressing me into the soft bed.

"Wake up dipstick. You gotta get ready for school." He said loudly in my ear and then left. Stupid brother. I was immensely relieved that he is no longer crushing me though.

"Fool. I'm not going to school. I'm going to college." I shouted at him. I was, in fact, going to a sixth form college that was based in a high school. I sat up and realised that I still wore the clothes from the day before. Presuming I had fallen asleep on my bed I let it pass. But then how had Jed gotten into my room? I had locked the door the previous night. That was not something I could ponder on for long as I looked to my watch and realised that I had half an hour to get ready. I rushed through my usual morning routine of washing, showering and so on, then dressed. I wore a black pair of hip huggers and fitted black t-shirt with the H.I.M logo on it. I then pulled my black cord jacket over the top. I wore my waist-length, mahogany coloured, tight ringlets tied up that day, same as always. I loved my hair. It was always my best asset but it was also a great hindrance in the fact that it was very hard to look after.

"Ready?" My father asked as he opened the door and pulled out his car keys. I didn't answer but walked out of the house and toward the car. My father drove me to the college. The building itself was rather smaller then I expected for a place of learning. Outside were a multitude of people around my age.

After all of the formal administration stuff I was handed a timetable and left to make my way to my lesson. By now the first lesson was already half way through. I wandered the hallways trying to find the classroom I was meant to be in.

"And what do you think you're doing little missy?" Asked a stern male voice from behind me, giving me quite the shock. I turned to see whom I presumed to be a teacher.

"I'm looking for my class sir." I called him 'sir' out of habit.

"Oh you must be the new girl. Where are you meant to be and I'll show where it is." He said in a rather more friendly tone than before. I told him where I was meant to be and he led me to the classroom. He explained to the teacher why I was late and she sat me in a seat next to a girl who seemed to have a badass attitude problem. I spent the rest of the lesson in my own thoughts. They were talking about some boring poetry of which I had no idea about. Okay, I liked to write poetry but I got no joy out of analysing it. I mean what poet in their right mind thinks of all of this crap when writing? Poetry comes from the heart not the head. A nice motto of mine, it also works with any type of writing since I also wrote songs. I spent the next lesson, which happened to be math, pretty much the same way. No one seemed to acknowledge that I existed. After second lesson was break. All in all I had five lessons of an hour each with two breaks and a lunch break. I had no idea what the students did for break and so I started to wander through the hallways.

"Hey. You're new 'round here aren't you?" A girl asked walking up to me and meeting my pace. Why was she so happy?

"Yeah. What's it to you?" I asked snappily, as was my nature. Sometimes.

"Well I was going to try and make you welcome." She said with emphasis on the 'was'. "The name's Stella Vespera. What's yours?" She had obviously decided to give me another chance. Great! Just what I needed, some over happy girl. I looked at her and saw that she was dressed in… well in my style clothing. I was quite confused.

"Melanie Lilith, but you dare call me that. Call me Laney." I replied. I meant it too. No one, and I repeat, no one called me Melanie. I hated that name. My mother gave me it and she's the only one who ever called me it. She's the only one who ever will. Stella was the first student who'd actually talked to me so I decided to talk back.

"Laney? Cool. Nice to meet you. So where you from?" We started walking. I didn't know where we were going but we were moving.

"Phoenix city, Arizona."

"What's it like over there?"

"Not like here." I continued to talk to Stella over the break time and we continued to walk randomly around the building. She seemed nice enough, but a little too nice. She asked me to meet her for lunch after third lesson. I agreed and she showed me to the class room where I had my next class. Again nothing of interest happened during this hour of lesson time. After lesson I walked to where we had agreed to meet. It wasn't like I had anyone else to hang around with since to every one else I seemed invisible. She was standing with a group of four others.

"Laney!" She almost shouted as she saw me. "You've gotta meet my friends." She indicated to the group she was standing with. "Guys this is Laney. Laney this is Luna, Mora, Shadow and Hugh." She pointed to each as she said their name. The group was rather an odd group. They seemed to be what many people would call Goths. I, myself, don't bother with labels since I don't care what 'label' people have but what personality they have. "Laney's from Arizona." Stella began telling what facts she knew of me to the others while I studied the group of people around me. I was stood between Stella and the guy named 'Hugh'. Hugh was quite tall and had red, orange and yellow hair which was spiked up and gave an interesting flame effect. "So what about your parents Laney?" I looked to Stella standing next to me, her natural, layered red hair framing her face. She had startling and penetrating ever-green eyes.

"Well my father owns Towel corp. and my mother's dead." I informed the cluster of people.

"I'm sorry I shouldn't have asked." Stella apologised. I smiled at this, something I was used to, people asking me about my parents then apologising for asking when they heard about my mother.

"It's okay. It's better that you know now."

"I still feel awful." She said sincerely. The group then went very quiet as Stella looked like she had done something awful. I looked at Stella concerned as she paled and looked as though she were ready to faint.

"Stella, come on snap out of it. Sorry she doesn't react too good to death." The guy named Shadow said as he walked around the group to Stella. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her to him, his black/blue jaw-length hair falling over his immensely enticing blue eyes. "Come on Stell. She said it was okay." He said softly into her ear. "So, if you don't mind me asking, how'd your mum die?" He asked me.

"Well I was told it was blood poisoning. I'm not sure I believe that though." I again informed.

"We've all had losses in this posse, some worse than others. If you feel the need to talk to someone feel free to talk to any of us. That right guys?" Shadow told me. The others agreed in various degrees of enthusiasm. I nodded in thanks.

"Where's Doug and Blade?" Stella suddenly asked.

"Doug said something about being busy this lunch." Hugh notified the group.

"And Blade's not in 'til this afternoon, remember?" Luna added as though everyone should know this. She had very straight silvery/blond hair that hung limply on her shoulders and very penetrating ice blue eyes.

"So how about lunch?" Shadow asked. Everyone agreed and we all headed to get food. I spent the whole of lunch with Stella and her friends. The group called themselves The Verloren âmes of the oscuro notte or The Verloren. I asked what the name meant but was met with the rude words of Mora saying 'work it out genius'. No matter how I tried to tell myself that Mora was really a nice person my instinct told me otherwise. I didn't like her limp black hair or her cold black eyes. There was a certain mutual feeling between the two of us but I was not going to let that get in the way of my new friends. I already felt as though they were the only friends I had ever had.

"So do you want to come out with us tonight?" Stella asked me as we headed to our next lessons. I contemplated it. On one hand I wasn't sure how my father would take it, on the other if I didn't it would be harder for me to connect myself with the group.

"Sure." I came to my decision. "As long as it's okay with my father. But it should be. He has been really weird around me lately, weird as in the good way though." We arranged that Luna would pick me up at six from my house since she was the only one out of the Verloren I had met who could drive. I found out that Luna, Doug and Blade were in the year above us although I hadn't met either Doug or Blade yet. From what I gathered Doug was the unofficial leader and founder of the gang and was well respected by all.

I didn't seem to have one lesson where even one of the group was there. School finished after fifth lesson and I headed towards the gate I had entered. My mobile phone rang, the tune of 'Your sweet 666' reaching my ears. I looked at the display screen to see it was my father calling. "Hello." I answered it.

"Melanie. I'm really sorry but I can't pick you up from college. Will you be okay to get home?" He said quite hurriedly. I thought about it. I had no idea how to get home but I didn't have much choice.

"I guess so. Oh and is it okay if I go out with some of my friends later?" I asked knowing he was in a hurry and more likely to say yes.

"You've made some friends already? Sure you can. Just make sure you're back before eleven." With this he hung up.

"Sure." I said with sarcasm while flipping the phone and putting it back in my bag. How was I supposed to get home? I was in a city I had only been in for one day and I had no idea how to get home. I sighed, rather frustrated and lost.

"Excuse me but you seem a little troubled. A girl such as yourself shouldn't sigh in such a troubled way." A deep, calming voice said from behind me. I turned to see a… a very good looking guy. He was tall and slim yet at the same time well toned, defined I would call it. He had dark hair with red highlights and the most welcoming brown eyes.

"But a girl such as myself, in a position such as myself has every right to sigh in such a troubled way." I replied. He smiled at this. Such a cute smile!

"Then would you care to relate your troubles to me?" He sat on the four foot wall outside the school. I sat next to him leaving a silence between us for a while.

"Usually I wouldn't talk to strangers but today I'm making an exception since everyone's a stranger to me today." I said to him while staring at my bag which hung limp in my hands.

"You new here?" He asked, leaning his head down, trying to see into my face.

"Yeah. Just moved here yesterday. And now I'm living in a city I had no idea existed until a few weeks ago. I have no idea how to get home and my father's just phoned me to say that he can't pick me up because… He didn't even give me a reason."

"Ah… The greatness of this sucky life. Where d'you live?"

"That's not something I tell strangers."

"Okay then…" He stood so that he was in front of me and assumed a posh English accent different from the 'Geordie' everyone spoke in this city. "Good afternoon, my fair lady. My name is Douglas Nguyen." He took my hand in his and kissed it gently. His touch sending shivers down my spine, while his kiss caused my heart to skip a beat. "May I ask the name of the fine lady whom I speak with?"

"Why certainly my kind sir. My name is Melanie Lilith. But don't call me that. You may call me Laney."

"Laney? Such a beautiful name for such a beautiful young lady. Now may I ask your address as so I may help you find your way home?" I agreed to tell him my address to which he replied, "How coincidental that I live literally around the corner from there. I'll personally walk you home." He held his arm out toward me. I stood without taking his arm and awaited for him to lead the way. It turned out that we only lived fifteen minutes away from the college. Doug (as he asked me to call him) and I spoke throughout the journey. Well actually it was more like he asked questions about me and I answered if I felt like it and asked him some back. He was friendly. He seemed like the perfect gentleman even opening the gate and holding it open for me when we reached my house.

"Well… I'll see you around. If you want anything I live round the corner to the left." He pointed to the corner and told me the number of his house. "Feel free to come see me anytime although I'm not in a lot. But if you need anything, to talk to someone or you need something I'm there. Anytime too. Don't worry about waking me if you come late or early or something. I don't sleep that much anyways. I'll… see you. How about I call on you tomorrow? I'll come and get you and we'll walk to school tomorrow?" He said all of this so that I couldn't fit in one word.

"You like to talk don't you? Thanks for the offer if I need anything, and sure I'll walk to school with you tomorrow. See you then."

"Okay. Eight a.m. okay?"

"Yeah sure. Bye." I walked down the path to the house.

"Auf Wiedersehen." He called as I entered the door. I couldn't help but smile as I closed the door. The house was empty. I presumed that my brother was out. I grabbed some food and went to get ready to go out.

Disclaimer – I don't own Arizona, Phoenix city, Newcastle upon Tyne or any place in this story.

I don't own any of the cars in this story.

I also don't own H.I.M or their song Your Sweet 666. (though I wish I did)