Ryuki Yamakazi pulled her work uniform out from her closet. She had to be at work in an half an hour, and she had yet to take a shower. She could hear her mom and dad downstairs yelling obscenities at each other. Her mother's words were slurred together, letting Ryuki know that her mom was drunk, as usual. She sighed and pulled her shirt over her head and put her work shirt, a light purple t-shirt with the Gemini Cafe logo on it. She heard a door slam and had hoped that her father had gone to the bedroom and left her mom in the kitchen to drink herself to sleep.

Silently, she slipped out of her bedroom and down the stairs to the living room to find her father sitting on the couch, watching TV. He looked up when he heard her come down.

"Where are you going?" He asked cruelly, glaring at her.

"To work," she whispered.

He grunted. "You don't work, you lazy bitch." He got up and walked over to her. She tried her best to look at the ground.

"Look at me when I talk to you!" he snapped. Ryuki winced and looked up at her dad. He smacked her across her face. She cried out and grabbed the side if of her face where he hit her. He grabbed her hand away and pushed her to the ground. Tears were stinging her eyes as he stepped on her ankle and then walking off upstairs, already yelling at her mom.

It took Ryuki five minutes to gather up her strength and get up and out the door, limping slightly.

Ryuki walked into the Gemini Cafe, already ten minutes late because of having to walk slow on her hurt ankle. The little cafe was bustling with customers carrying trays of burgers and salads. Jomei Makoto, her kindly, homosexual boss rushed over to her.

"Oh!" He said, exasperated." Where have you been? I have never seen this place so busy at 6:00 on a Tuesday!"

"Sorry," She quickly apologized. "I got delayed at home."

"Hmm. . ." Jomei was suspicious of something going on at her house, but Ryuki had never told him exactly what it was.

Ryuki tied her apron around her slender waist and began taking people's orders. From the looks of things, it was going to be a long night.

Finally, by about 8:30, the place had calmed down and Ryuki was able to step outside for the last 15 minutes of her shift.

Stepping out the back door of the restaurant, Ryuki stumbled a little in the dark and sat down on the bench beside Jomei. He was smoking a cigarette and looking tired. If it weren't for the fact that he was openly gay, Ryuki would have been flirting with him. He was one of the hottest guys she knew. He had blonde hair that was spiked up and always wore his shirts tight as well as his pants.

They sat together in silence before Jomei finally spoke up. "This has got to be the busiest we have EVER been."

"Yes, I don't think I've ever worked that hard,"

"Ryuki," Said Jomei with an air of someone who had something to say and didn't quite know how to say it.

Ryuki looked up at him questionably. "Hmm?" She hoped he wasn't going to say what she thought he was going to say. Please just tell me that you're going to give me a raise. PLEASE don't say what I think you're going to say.

"I really don't know how to say this. . ." He thought for a moment. "You know that I'm your friend and that I'd do anything to help you at all, right?"

Oh, no. . . She nodded.

"Well, Ryuki . . . is there something going on at home that you aren't telling me?"

Ryuki instinctively started playing dumb. "I don't know what you're talking about-"

"Ryuki, PLEASE don't do this with me. You do it with everyone that asks you about it, but please, I'm your best friend and you can tell me anything. If there's something going on, then I can help you, but I can't just sit there and watch you come into work every day with bruises and cuts all over you and not do anything about it. Now, do NOT sit here and insist that nothing is happening to you." He grabbed her chin and forced her to look him in the eye. He looked at her sadly. "Ryuki I really want to help you, I do, but you have to LET me help you."

Ryuki didn't know what to say. She really -REALLY- didn't want anyone else getting involved in this. She couldn't let other people know or else her father would probably KILL her. And probably Jomei too if he found out, and that was something she REALLY didn't want. She couldn't let Jomei find out about her parents condition. It would ruin her friendship with him.

Tears began to sting her eyes as she looked at her friend with a look of deep sadness and regret. She stood up with her back to him.

"Ryuki..." he began. But she was already walking away. He reached a hand out to stop her. "Wait!" he called, but she didn't look back.

All she could think about was getting out of there. She didn't even want to stay and say goodbye to anyone. She just wanted to get away from the beatings and yelling. But most of all the stares and questions. Why couldn't people just mind their own business and leave her to hers? Jomei was a good friend and he meant well, but he didn't understand that she didn't want him to know anything. That was how it had been all along, and if it changed now, it could ruin her relationship with him.

Ryuki stopped to look and see where her wandering feet had carried her. She hadn't even been paying attention to where she was going. It's a miracle she hadn't ran into something.

She was in an alley somewhere. It was dark and she couldn't see. This is a horror story in the making. She thought wryly. She shivered in the cold and sat down on an empty crate. Might as well make myself comfortable, since I'm not going home. She thought. But how do you get comfortable on an empty crate?

It was tough, crates don't make for the best beds, but eventually Ryuki fell into a very fitful sleep. She was cold and hungry and sleeping here made her have awful dreams.

She didn't know how long she was asleep, it couldn't have been more than an hour, but she awoke to being kicked in the side. Slowly she opened her eyes to see a shiny black shoe tapping her in the side not-too-gently. For one awful second she thought that it may be Jomei, or even worse, her father, but when she looked up she saw the scowling face of a stranger. With an aching back, she sat up and looked the stranger in the face. It was an older male, could have been anywhere between 40-50. She couldn't tell in the dark atmosphere. The only thing she really could make out was that he was looking at her with a look of venom in his eyes.

"Who are-" she started, but couldn't finish. He reached down, grabbed her arm and jerked her up before she could finish.

"You know, it's dangerous for little girls to be out alone in the dark in an alley. People get hurt out here."

"Uh . . . well . . . see I . . ."

"Was just going home?" he finished for her. "I don't see how one can do that when they're asleep." Without warning he grabbed her by the neck and pressed a cold, damp rag to her mouth. All Ryuki could think before she passed out was how she wished she were home.

The pain in her head was almost unbearable. She opened her eyes tentatively. The room she was in was dark. She could barely see. The only thing that she could tell was that she wasn't where she was when she fell asleep. Wait . . . didn't she pass out while some guy was smothering her with a rag of cloraphorm? She snapped back to reality. What had happened to her? Oh God, what was he going to do to her.

"Well, well, well, my pet has awakened. Did you have a nice nap?"

Ryuki turned around so fast that she thought she gave herself whiplash. Standing in the open doorway was an incredibly handsome man in his mid forties. It took her a moment to recognize him as the man that kidnapped her. She couldn't move or speak, she was so scared. Hell, she could barely breathe for the fear that arose in her. He narrowed his eyes at her and strode over to where she was sitting on the bed and stood in front of her with narrowed eyes and pursed lips. He said sharply, "I asked you a question woman! Answer me!" His outburst was accompanied by a slap on Ryuki's face.

A meek "Yes." was all she could manage to whisper.

He seemed satisfied as he gave her a smug look and traced a finger lightly down her cheek. All she could do was close her eyes tight and wish that it would all go away.

All of a sudden there was a loud crash somewhere out in the hall. Someone who looked like a guard came running in to the room he as panting and out of breath.

"Lord Kiyoshi." he said. "It's Tamoru, he's here with reinforcements. We can't fight him off!"

Kiyoshi took on a sinister smile that made Ryuki shiver. He looked at her and said, "My pet, it seems I have some pests to take care of, I trust that you will remain here until I return?"

When she didn't reply to him, he grabbed her chin and jerked her face to look at him.

"Answer me," he warned darkly. She nodded in compliance. He seemed seemed to be satisfied with that as he got up and walked to the door and left.

Immediately Ryuki began to think of a plan to escape.

A/N: Well, this isn't where I wanted to stop this chapter, I wanted it to be a little bit longer, but this seemed like the best place to stop it for me. I know I shouldn't be starting a new story with so many that are in dire need of updating, but I just had to get this one down on paper. Although I couldn't have picked a worse time. I just started school back and I'm going to a private school now (Gaston Day School) and I have a LOT of homework in almost every subject, every night. I even had a project due in the first week. Well, I'll try my best to get some of this stuff update. For anyone who knows my story "The Darkness Inside" I'll have the second chapter for that up soon, I promise. I got it started in Word and it's almost finished. I actually have the second AND third chapters on paper, it just takes time to get them from paper to computer. I'm wroking on it though.

"Rose tint my world keep me safe from my trouble and pain."
-Rocky Horror Picture Show