Chapter One:


My heart was pounding as I broke out into a cold sweat.

"I got a call from your math teacher, apparently you haven't been going to class this past week" My father said staring at me. I swallowed and stared back at him hoping my fear wasn't obvious although I felt as if it had me in a choke hold.

"Do you think you're going to go anywhere in life without an education boy?" he asked calmly picking up one of my mothers figurines and playing with it. I just looked at him, hoping my silence would be enough to get him to leave me alone. I ended up sprawled on the floor as my father looked down at me, his fist bloodied. My mother had shrieked when my father had hit me and had tried to rush to my side.

"Mary stop it, all you ever do is coddle the boy, now he's soft." He said evenly while opening his bloody fist and placing the figurine back where it had been. Then he grabbed my mother by her arm and dragged her to her feet. He went back to toying with the figurines as I wiped my mouth wanting to spit the blood out but I knew that would only lead to more beatings, not to mention it would be my mother who'd have to clean it up.

"Now boy, I asked you a question, don't make me repeat it" he said, still the picture of calm. Pushing myself up onto my knees I glared at him.

"No sir. And I have a name." I spat out bitterly. Not a smart, not smart at all. He stopped touching the glass figures and grabbing my shirt collar hauled me off of the ground.

"You think that just because you were offered that sports scholarship you're grown? Tackling little boys doesn't make you a man, I'll call you by your name when you earn it boy." He said flinging me back down to the floor. I got up a little faster that time breathing hard. I was tempted to ask him why he had named me but I caught sight of my mother crying so I held my tongue, fear and anger warring within me.

"Boy, I better not get any more calls from any of your teachers or I'll have to discipline you" he said grabbing my shirt and wiping his hand on it. When he was finished he turned to my mother, "I'm going for a run. My uniform needs to be ready for tomorrow." He kissed her forehead and then went to get ready for his run.

"My name," I whispered, "is Adrian." He didn't hear me and I listened as he grabbed whatever he needed and then left. As the door closed I felt as free, as if I had been frozen and I glanced at the clock and saw it was 9:30. Trust Me. Welch the spineless bastard to call when he knew I was at practice.

"Oh Adrian, honey," my mom sobbed rushing over to me as soon as she was sure he was gone and began dabbing at my lip which had split. I could already feel the side of my face begin to swell and my cheek stung. I hate him so much. As my mom dabbed at what seemed to be a cut on my cheek I wondered what would happen if I ever hit him back. Why was I even thinking that, he'd put me in the hospital again. But man, would it be worth it, even for just that little bit of satisfaction.

"Mom, why don't you just leave him?" I growled filled with frustration, as usual she began to defend him.

"Oh honey, he's not that bad, honestly. If only you'd stop provoking him." She hiccupped. I stepped away from her.

"Provoking him? How the hell am I provoking? Do I have a fucking punch me sign somewhere on me that I don't know about? Shit mom, you know what, forget it" I said as she began to cry again. I turned away from her although I felt like shit for making her cry but I wasn't going to apologize for speaking the truth. Grabbing my school jacket from where I had thrown it when I had come in I headed for the door, not caring that I was still wearing the shorts and t-shirt I had worn at practice. I paused to step into my shoes giving my mom enough time to collect herself.

"Adrian, Adrian sweetie, where are you going?" she asked pathetically. I ignored the ball that seemed to form in my throat. I was just like him, making her cry and then leaving like it wasn't important. I had to get out, to go somewhere.

"Elliot's." I choked out as I left.



As I sat listening to Jesse's Girl on my stereo I contemplated how drugged up I'd be if I took another one of the antibiotics the doctor had given me for my cold. Sure I was only supposed to take it two times a day but it was minutes to ten and it wasn't like the stupid things were working anyway. The stupid cold kept coming back. How much does it suck to have a cold when summer is just a few months away? It sucks major.

Blowing my nose I decided to ignore the pain from my cold and tried to read my book when there was a knock at my window. Now that wouldn't have been strange if I had been on say, the first floor but I was on the second.

I turned around just as the window slid open and Adrian crawled in.

"Do you think your Spiderman? I have a front door that works after 9 o'clock. My parents wouldn't like it, but it works." I told him sweetly. He gave me the finger.

"I'm crashing here for the night" he told me, I raised an eyebrow at him.

"Oh Adrian, of course you can stay, you don't even have to ask" I said sarcastically. He moved away from the window and I finally got a good look at him. The left side of his face was swollen and he had a scratch on his check and a split lip.

"Shit, Adrian not again, you have to tell my dad, I know he could," He cut me off.

"No. Can I stay here?" I narrowed my eyes and then nodded. Why did I even bother, it wasn't the first time he'd stayed here. It was practically a ritual now. He came over I said something sarcastic and then he's spend the night in the guest room. Never my room since my dad thinks all guys over the age of 13 want to get in my pants. I don't know whether to be insulted that he thinks I can't defend myself or what.

Adrian flopped down on my bed. "So what set him off?" I asked. He didn't answer and I knew better than to push it. "Want an ice pack or something to put on that?" he shrugged and I went into to my bathroom and got him a wet cloth. After he put it on his jaw we sat there for a while in as comfortable silence as two people who are trying to ignore something can get.

"I hate living like this!" he said from out of nowhere sitting up and causing me to jump a bit. This was new. "I want to be in control of my own life for once. I don't want to have to hide because I'm afraid to stay in my own house." He said resentfully. I sighed and moved so that I could wrap my arms around him.

"Look at me," he said laughing bitterly, "I'm the best wide-receiver in our area, guys are afraid of me, and here I am going to a girl as if she can defend me."

Now the way I saw it, there was two ways to go when he was feeling like that, 1. Let him have a pity fest or 2. Take his mind off of it. I chose option two.

I snorted and let him go. "For the record you and I both know I can kick your ass, why do you keep trying to deny it?"

It was his turn to snort. "Sure Ellie, you keep thinking that. Man, I can't wait to leave this place."

"You have five scholarship offers, count it, five and this is your last year here, so try not to stress so much" I told him. He just shrugged and then suddenly got up and went over to my stereo and stopped my CD.

"I was listening to that" I said wryly.

"Yeah, well that was garbage. Who actually listens to Lime in the Coconut when it's not for the coke commercial?"

"Listen here you," I paused to think of something to call him, I decided to go with the obvious "little white boy, you are not allowed to touch my stereo, and that song is awesome."

"Racial slurs, that's low Ellie, that's low, but you really need to start listening to music for your age group."

"It's not a racial slur when you're stating a fact. And music for my age group gives me a headache; I can only take so much of people screaming for no reason before I consider murder." I responded.

"That's screamo. And I'm 6'2 not that little Ellie, and if that's true it's alright if I called you," he stopped to think of something. I stood up and flipped my hair over my shoulder and settled my hands on my hips.

"It's alright if you call me what?" I asked him cocking my head to the side. He grinned.

"If I called you," he was cut off by the sound of a door opening.

"Ellie? Is that you?" my mom called out from what I assumed to be her room. I looked at Adrian for a moment and then we both went into action as quickly and as quietly as possible, which was pretty fast if I do say so myself. Adrian closed the curtains and the lights and I grabbed his jacket which he had thrown on the floor and turned down the radio as the floorboards outside my room creaked.

Throwing his jacket on the window seat I dove into the bed and smashed into a warm and might I add well defined chest. He grunted but I ignored it seeing as how he should've been under the bed or something. I tried to match my breathing patterns to his so it would seem as if there was only one person in the room.

"Elliot, honey?" My mom called softly opening my door. "Ellie? Oh, she left the stereo on again."

I listened as the door was closed and I didn't relax until I heard my parent's door close. I let out a sigh of relief and listened to the beating of Adrian's heart. As I listened I realized the idiot had fallen asleep.

"Oh no, no, no, no, Adrian, don't do this, Adrian get up" I said quietly shaking him gently. "Adrian, Adrian, ADRIAN!" I hissed as I shook him harder. He grunted and threw an arm over me.

"No you idiot! Getup now, if my dad sees this I'm going to be grounded for the rest of my life. Not to mention he'll kill you" I whispered as I struggled out from under him. Or tried too, he wouldn't let me go. I sighed and got comfortable.

"Just so you know, if you're not up before my dad I'm going to stab you with something"


Adrian ran as fast as he could trying to see where he was going through the darkness. He knew he was going to be caught, he was alone except for the thing that was after him, and it was catching up.

Suddenly he felt a sharp stab of pain in his side that pulled his awareness out of the darkness for a moment.

"If you keep thrashing like that I swear to God I'm going to kick you off the bed."

He wasn't alone. With that thought he pulled the source of the voice towards him. Finally, he wasn't alone.



I weighed my options as Adrian continued to thrash around. I could; 1. Kick him off the bed but that would be cruel, not to mention the noise it would make as he slammed into the floor. 2. I could wake him up and let him calm down, or 3. I could jab him, threaten him and then kick him off if he continued.

I chose option three because I got the satisfaction of doing the right thing while at the same time I got to be violent. Propping myself up I noticed that he was breathing heavily and his face was covered in a sheen of sweat. With my pointer and middle finger I jabbed him in the side. He stilled.

"If you keep thrashing like that I swear to God I'm going to kick you off the bed." I whispered to him. Lying down I was giving a moments respite as he relaxed and then he pulled me into his arms. I sighed. This was just great, so instead of being kicked to death I'd be suffocated.

"Not alone" he mumbled sleepily into my hair.

I sighed and tried to get comfortable, "No Adrian, you're not alone."

As I drifted back to sleep I wondered what it was that Adrian had been dreaming about. I shrugged and snuggled closer to him, at least he was over it now.

I woke up at five o'clock because I was freezing. Mr. Not Alone had not only left the window open the night before but was a sheet hog. That early in the morning I was nowhere near being at my best so I did the one thing that I could do. Getting up I opened the curtains so the breeze could come in more although I was freezing and then yanked the blankets off of him.

"Rise and shine gorgeous" I said sweetly as he huddled up and then the cold hit him.



"Jesus Ellie, I never knew you were a sadist" I groaned trying to grab the blankets from her. She moved them from out of my reach and sniffed.

"Well, Mr. Sleepy head, my dad woke up," she glanced at the clock "ten minutes ago and I really don't want him to walk in with you here."

I gave up on going back to sleep and got off the bed. "It's times like this that I wish I hadn't broken up with Amy" I said reaching for my jacket just to annoy her. She made a face and opened her mouth to say something but there was a knock at the door.

"Not again" she moaned softly looking around. "Under the bed, now!" she hissed, grinning I slowly eased myself under her bed as she opened her room door.

"Morning Sunshine, I was going to make some coffee and wondered if you wanted anything?" I heard her father ask. I swallowed a snort. And she says she's not spoiled. And what's with the whole sunshine thing? She wouldn't even let me shorten Ellie to El.

"Mmm, hot chocolate would be nice" she said sounding sleepy. I rolled my eyes. For him she's sleepy, for me she's sadistic.

"Okay then, hot chocolate for my Sunshine princess."

"Dad! Can you please make it for me?" she asked pleadingly. As soon as I heard the door close I began to snicker.

"I'm calling you that at school Sunshine Princess."

"Shut up or I swear I'll hurt you" she hissed which only made me laugh harder.

"Be quiet you idiot, it's our thing. At least I'm not hiding under a bed smart ass"

I stopped laughing. "True, better your dad's sunshine then his punching bag."

"Adrian," she stopped as the door opened.

"It's in the microwave so it should stay warm. I poured you some orange juice too so you'll get over that cold. Shouldn't you be getting ready to run with Adrian?" he asked her.

"No, I don't think he's coming today, thanks daddy" The door closed and I crawled out from under the bed.

"Thanks for letting me stay here, I better go" I said not looking at her and heading for the window.

"Adrian don't be like that, come on, don't be mad. At least use the front door." She said sounding annoyed. I ignore her and climbed out.

"Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies. Look Out! Here comes the Spidermaaan. Is he strong? Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood. Can he swing from a thread, take a look overhead Hey there, there goes the Spiderman." Elliot sang. I grinned as I dropped off her roof.

"Bite me" I yelled in response. As I headed home I could still hear her laugh.

a/n: well there you go, first chapter. What did you think? Oh, and did you like how I showed who it was for each section or would you have preffered I just left it so that you guys would read to see who it was?

Thanks to:

Aj Riley: thanks :D, that was what I was going for

Palestrina:thanks for catching that for me, I fixed it

Sazzy: thanks, although shouldn't it be love me, not love you? you know whatI mean

Chrissy: thanks :D,

toothofthehydra: thanks, it's hard and I'm pretty sure it's going to get harder since I have no experiance with that sort of thing

Rose: once again, shortened the name, :D thanks