Written by Kizuna

A/N: I'm now putting up the new version of this story, with a new title, and this new version is a tad bit better than the old one. There were some inconsistencies in the previous version, and those are now corrected. Some scenes have been slightly rewritten as well, and one character's look has changed a bit. If you're re-reading this story, I hope you like this new version better! If you're a new reader, please enjoy my story and don't forget to leave a review so I can hear your opinion!

Info: The majority of this series takes place in a fictional town called Shelters Cove. After I'd come up with that name I googled it, and then I found out that there was a town named Shelter Cove up in Humboldt County, California. I was debating to use this town in the story, seeing as it is in Cali as I was thinking this one was, but when I read about it I figured that I couldn't. It's a small town, and it doesn't have doctors, dentists or anything really. So I'm sticking to the town I came up with. It's a small town as well but it has it's own hospital, elementary school, high school, college/university, etc.

Aiden and Alex


Shelters Cove, September 1st, 2003

First day of their senior year in high school was finally over and Aiden Lister was on the soccer field with his two best friends, Alex Gordo and Peter Bennet, plus some of their team mates for a practice match.

When they had been playing for quite a while, they got spectators and Alex was the one who saw the two girls first. He was on the opposite team of Aiden, and when they tried to dribble each other he made Aiden become aware of their presence. Everything for the game, he thought with a small, sly smirk.

Aiden just had to look the way Alex nodded, and when his attention moved away from the ball, Alex snickered and dribbled it from him.

"Hey!" Aiden yelled when it dawned to him what his friend had done. "That's cheating!" He started to run after his friend.

Alex threw a glance back at him. "I know," he grinned slyly. Then he turned forward again, slowed down a bit, and passed the ball to one of his team-mates. But him slowing down ended with Aiden crashing into him. They both lost their balance; Alex fell to the ground, catching himself with his arms and rolling around so he was lying on his back, and Aiden fell over him, causing Alex to loose his breath for a few seconds.

Their eyes met for a long moment, both lost for both words and thoughts, but when they finally did come back to them, they were on their feet again and ran after the ball.

But Aiden couldn't fully concentrate on the game after that encounter with his best friend. He had always been filled with strange feelings when he was with Alex, he had to admit that, but after the few times they had had such near contact with each other, he just couldn't focus on anything. The feeling was strange and frustrating. He had never felt anything like it before; with neither a girl nor a boy, and it frightened him a bit. The feeling was so strong.

He and Alex were at almost the same height; Aiden was a few inches taller than the other boy. Both were tall and slender, yet masculine. But while Aiden was blonde, Alex had black hair. They both had blue eyes, though; Aiden's were ice-blue while Alex's were azure.

"Come on, Aiden!" Peter yelled from across the field. "Concentrate, mate! We are going to lose this if you keep spacing out like that!"

Aiden quickly snapped out of his thoughts, and he turned to face his friend. Peter shot the ball to him, and he, in return, shot it towards the goal. The keeper couldn't get it, and the ball went in.

Aiden smiled pleased. Alex grinned and held a thumb up for him on the other side of the field, behind Peter, even though he was on the opposite team. Aiden could feel his heart starting to beat faster, and he quickly looked away.

What the hell is wrong with me? He yelled silently at himself. He's my best friend, dammit! I can't have such feelings for him! He placed his palm on his forehead, checking if he might have a fever. He hadn't.

He sighed in defeat and tried his best to push all those thoughts away as long as the match lasted…


Sarah Beals smiled at Aiden and Alex as they walked towards her after the game was over. Aiden gave her a quick hug and nodded slightly to her best friend, Ellen Fresk.

Aiden had known Sarah since their freshman year, but they hadn't gotten to really know each other until the middle of their sophomore year. Now, though, they were as close as a girl and a guy could be without being in any form for intimate relationship.

Ellen on the other hand, Aiden didn't know that well. She was a junior, while Aiden was a senior, and she never hung out with them during school time. Sarah had told him that it was because Ellen always did her homework then, because she didn't get any chance to do them on the afternoons. Aiden couldn't say he cared all that much about Ellen Fresk, though.

Sara turned away from Aiden and Alex and smiled nervously up at Peter. He grinned widely back at her and waved lightly. It wasn't any secret that they had a huge crush on each other. They could have been a couple, if they only had dared to just ask each other the Big Question.

Something they didn't dare, obviously.

They all started to walk homewards; Peter in-between Sara and Ellen, while Aiden and Alex walked a few steps behind those three.

"Are you two going to the party on Friday?" Peter asked the girls.

"Of course," Sarah answered and smiled roguish at him.

"She goes wherever you go," Ellen spoke up innocently.

Peter glanced at her, then turned his eyes back to Sarah, and they both blushed slightly. "How nice," he said and took a fast grip around her hand. Sarah blushed even more, but she smiled coyly up at him.

Ellen rolled her eyes teasingly; she was happy for Sarah, because it really seemed like the friendship between her and Peter was going to turn into something deeper in the very near future.

Behind them, Aiden walked with mixed feelings. But they didn't have anything to do with Peter and Sarah, no, they were centred on Alex. His heart was still pounding faster than normal, and he could feel that he had a slight blush on his cheeks.

He glanced wryly at Alex, viewing the handsome boy next to him. Alex walked with his head bent down, staring at he ground, with his hands buried in his pants pockets. His black hair curled itself in his neck and around his ears; his forelock almost covered his entire forehead and some strands of hair hung down in his emotional, azure eyes.

Then Alex suddenly lifted his head and met Aiden's eyes. Aiden jerked in surprise, it was almost as if the other boy had known he was being watched, but he didn't break the eye contact between them. Alex's eyes were bright, so haunted and full of various emotions, but he thought he could see something different in them… Something that wasn't related to the bad feelings he had for his home and family.

Aiden just couldn't tell exactly what it was. But it was something, and it was important.

He bit his lip lightly as he spaced out and let the memory of the day he first met Alex one year ago play through his mind…

"Do you want to pull out of this now, Aiden?" Marcus's voice was low, too low. "I can't let you do that." His eyes rested on Aiden; chilly, but it burned a rage in them that made the younger boy a little uncomfortable. He knew what the bigger boy could do.

"I don't want to do this anymore," Aiden said firmly and met the older and bigger boy's eyes without hesitation; he tried his best not to show how uncomfortable he was on the outside. "I'm tired of this! I'm tired of you! I'm tired of everything! I'm going, and don't you dare trying to seek me out anymore!"

Aiden turned around, but as he started to walk away a hand shot out and closed around his forearm. He tilted his head to the side and gave the other, dark-haired boy a death glare, but Seb just sneered back at him.

Seb, together with Matt, the third and last person, except from Aiden himself, in Marcus' little gang, did everything the older boy commanded.

The gang had started with Marcus and Seb. Then Aiden had gotten to know them; they had been his only friends at that time. It had been great in the beginning, when they hadn't done anything bad, but after Matt joined them Marcus had started to aim higher. He had started selling drugs – it was then Aiden had started to doubt this friendship – and now he had taken paid from a girl to beat up another girl because of jealousy.

When Marcus had accepted, Aiden knew that he couldn't stay by their side anymore. He would never harm an innocent girl, far less take money for it!

He wanted more out of life than these people, this gang. He had started to hang out with Peter, a boy in his class, and they had started to get good friends. Peter had also gotten pretty friendly with Sarah, they were so obviously in love, but neither of them did anything about it.

Aiden also wanted to use more of his time on soccer and basketball. Because he had found out that he was pretty good in both sports, being the star of the team and all, and he liked it. He liked it much better than hanging out with these guys. He just wasn't interested in having drug-dealers as friends. He had actually started wondering if they had ever been his friends at all… He highly doubted it.

"You are not going anywhere, Aiden," Marcus said in a low voice and walked towards the other boy. Seb still held Aiden's forearm, and now he tightened his grip. "Absolutely nowhere."

Aiden could see that Marcus was furious, even though he held a cold façade. He knew what was about to come; no one argued with Marcus without there being consequences. Never.

Aiden tried to wrench his forearm out of Seb's tight grip, to defend himself against Marcus, but it didn't go. Seb had gotten a good grip, and he had no plans whatsoever to let him go.

Matt came up from behind him and bent his other arm hard up behind his back. Aiden struggled, but he had no chance to get out of their grip and with both hands trapped, he couldn't defend himself against Marcus.

Aiden clenched his teeth together when the first fist hit him in the stomach. He gasped for air, and would have fallen to his knees if Seb and Matt hadn't been holding him up. Then Marcus' knee exploded against his chin.

"No one fucks with me," Marcus yelled angry. "You should know that, Aiden, better than most people!"

"Fuck you, Marcus," Aiden snapped.

"Watch your fucking mouth!" Seb spat and punched him in the face with his clenched fist.

At the same time, Marcus kicked his hip and punched him with his knuckles in his chest. Aiden gasped for air, swayed, and when Seb and Matt let go off him, he fell to the ground. He coughed, and managed slowly to crawl to his feet.

He saw that Marcus lifted his foot, ready to kick him again. Aiden threw himself to the side, took a fast grip around the bigger boy's ankle and pulled hard. Marcus fell to the ground with a crash; the curses hailed loudly over them all.

And now that Marcus was down, Aiden had a chance to get away. He punched Seb hard in the stomach, shoved Matt into the brick wall, and ran as fast as he could out of the alley.

"I will get you, Aiden! Just wait; I will make you fucking regret this! You fucking bastard!" He heard Marcus shout in utter rage after him.

Aiden didn't care. He could threaten as much as he wanted; right now he just wanted to get away. Well out in the open, he stopped for a moment to find out how much hurt he actually was.

His lower lip had cracked, and blood ran from it and down his chin. Both his cheeks were sore, too, he bet he would get bruises that would last for several days. Those fuckers, Aiden swore silently and wiped away the blood on his chin.

And then the dizziness suddenly came over him, and he leaned against the brick wall, trying to clear his spinning head. He figured that he must have gotten a hard kick or punch in the head as well as other places on his body.

"Is everything alright?" A voice asked; Aiden heard it as if it was far away.

Aiden slowly opened his eyes, that he couldn't quite remember having closed in the first place, and the world soon stopped spinning. It took a while, though, till he could focus on the person who stood in front of him.

It was a boy, his own age, and he had a worried look on his face. His azure eyes met Aiden's own ice-blue ones; the black forelock fell neatly down in the other boy's eyes.

"I'm fine," Aiden mumbled with a voice that, to his annoyance, was shaking quite a bit.

The boy smiled. His teeth were white and strong, his skin tanned from the summer sun. "Let me help you," he said, grabbed one of Aiden's arms and slid it over his shoulders. "You don't look like you're okay. Been in a fight?"

Aiden smiled weakly, allowing the boy to help him, and found out that he couldn't hold his eyes away from him. "Yeah, you can say that," he muttered.

"You were in minority?" The boy smiled friendly at him, though his eyes shone of worry.

"They were three," Aiden mumbled. "And older and bigger."

"But you got away from it pretty good," the boy said; just his cheerful voice was enough to get Aiden in a better mood. "Pretty good for the odds, I mean," the boy smiled wryly.

"Yeah, I guess so," Aiden mumbled and gave him a small smile in return.

They became silent as their eyes locked in an intense stare. Neither of them found anything sane to say, and neither of them wanted to break the comfortable silence.

But then the other boy blinked in something resembling surprise, and a smirk came to his lips as he said; "By the way, I'm Alex."


Aiden shook his head as the memory faded away. He remembered that day as if it was yesterday; it was that day those unwanted, weird feelings had started to push forward. It wasn't until the day after, the first day of his junior year, that they had really started to rise though…

Aiden sauntered into the classroom three minutes after the bell had rung the next morning. He had his bag over one of his shoulders and he smirked nonchalantly at the teacher, who raised one of her eyebrows at him in displeasure.

He wandered calmly down to his desk next to the window at the back of the classroom. He placed his feet on the desk and leaned back on the chair, resting his hands behind his neck.

His classmates threw wry glances at him, and he could see the questions in their eyes. His face hadn't gotten worse, but it wasn't better either, and he could understand why they wondered what had happened to him.

"Aiden, sit down properly," the teacher snapped.

He didn't listen to her, just turned his head and looked out of the window. He could hear her sigh in despair, but then she smiled to the class again.

"We have a new student today," she said, striving to sound gentle. It didn't go though, her annoyance shone through every word. "He's just moved here, and I hope you all," she gave Aiden a death glare, "will be nice to him and welcome him to this class and this school."

Aiden looked forward again when the door opened and a boy came in. And it felt like his heart was about to stop beating. The person who walked into the classroom… It was Alex, the boy who had helped him after the fight with Marcus, Seb and Matt.

"This is Alex Gordo," the teacher said and smiled at the boy. Then she waved towards the only empty desk in the room. "You can sit down next to Aiden," she said and gave the latter a dark look. "Just don't let him get any influence on you. We teachers have enough with one troublemaker as it is."

Aiden raised his eyebrows. He almost felt offended, but Alex just smiled friendly to the teacher and walked down the rows towards him.

Aiden took down his feet and sat up straight, resting his eyes on Alex.

"How's the face?" Alex asked as he sat down next to him. His friendly smile was now aimed at Aiden, and mentioned guy felt his heart started to pound faster than usual.

"I'm surviving," he said and grinned. "A couple of hits and kicks isn't enough to knock me out."

"That's good to hear." Alex's eyes held Aiden's a little longer than necessary and Aiden swallowed hard. He wanted to look away, but he couldn't find the strength to tear himself away from those beautiful azure eyes.

He was really starting to get obsessed with this boy. But if it was a good thing or a bad thing… That was still left to see.

Aiden was snapped back to the present by someone touching his arm and stopping him so he couldn't continue walking. He turned his head to the side, and met Alex's bright eyes.

"You okay there?" Alex asked with a small smile. "You looked kinda lost."

"Um, yeah, I'm okay," Aiden mumbled, still feeling a little perplexed.

"That's good to hear," Alex laughed. "Then you might want to go inside. I doubt you will come home with one of us." He pointed behind him where the driveway to Aiden's house was.

Aiden blushed slightly in embarrassment. He had been so lost in thoughts that he had totally forgotten to stop by his house. "Umm… I'll see you later, then?" He said and looked at his black-haired friend.

"Yeah, see you later," Alex said and started to move away, going after Peter, Sarah and Ellen who hadn't stopped next to Aiden's driveway. Alex turned around, though, and waved goodbye with a small smile gracing his lips.

Aiden waved back, and then he walked up the driveway and into the house. He heard that his uncle, sister and two cousins were in the living room, but he just continued towards the basement door.

When he was safely down in his room, he closed his door and fell down on his bed. He rubbed his fingertips over his closed eyelids and sighed silently. And then, before he knew it, the darkness closed around him and sleep claimed him…