The first person that greeted me was a dog, followed by a lady who looked like Santa Claus's wife. That was when I was two. It's the first thing I remember about anything: the orphanage. It was my home for six years and the Santa Claus's wife looking lady was Ruby Bashire, the mother figure in my life. Then the Thompson's adopted me when I was eight. They lived close to Mrs. Bashire, so I still visited but then they moved to England and I couldn't leave. So by nine, I moved back into the orphanage. Now, I'm 16, a junior in high school, and still living in the orphanage. Thirteen years and still going but I love it.

"Damien! Give me back my ipod!" I whined, reaching out for it. He laughed before Lea hit him over the head, making him drop it.

"Mom, I was just giving her a hard time," Damien smirked.

"Whore," I muttered, only loud enough for him to hear. He laughed, putting his arm over my shoulder as we walked outside. "Dude, I came like fifteen minutes ago, you were definitely a girl in another life. You take longer than me. If I get another detention, Ruby's gonna kill me and I'll kill you."

"How will you kill me when you're dead?" he asked grinning.

"Shut up bitch," I said, folding my arms.

"Nat, that doesn't work-."


"How so?"

"Cause I said so," I said, sticking out my tongue. He laughed and we continued walking to school. Damien's car was in the shop due to what he calls an accident, but I call it bad driving. He ran into a tree. He, thankfully, wasn't hurt but his car wasn't so lucky.

"It was foggy," he said defensively.

"C'mon, that's almost as bad as saying that the tree jumped out," I laughed. He glared at me but I shook my head, shoving my hands into my pockets. I looked down at my clothes, I didn't get it, I always told Ruby she could use the money for the orphanage but she always said that it was mine and she wouldn't use it for anything except my education. That I didn't mind. I was the one who put it into the account. I wanted to pull my own weight and figure life out by myself. Everyone at school thought I was on scholarship but I wasn't. I was paying for my education, full price. Okay, technically my parents were but it's the same thing. So what if I didn't have the coolest stuff, I loved my life, and I did have the stuff I needed. Ruby always said I was far to mature for my age but then again I did know when to be a kid.

"Hello," Damien's voice broke into my thoughts, "Ya in there Nat. You kinda zoned out."

"Yeah, just thinking," I smiled. He smiled back and we walked up the school steps just in time for the first bell to ring. We looked at each other and set off for a run to our homerooms.

"Ah, Ms. Washington, cutting it close," Mr. Gregory said in a bored tone, "Sit down."

"Yeah, sorry," I said, sitting in an empty desk in the back next, in the corner. He started going on about some new announcements and I looked out the window.

"Promptness is very important," Mr. Gregory barked, pulling my attention to the front of the classroom where a very fine young man was getting quite embarrassed by our homeroom teacher.

"Yes sir, but, I, I got caught in traffic," he said, obviously not accustom to people like Mr. Gregory. You know, the ones who yell at you for no reason.

"Aw poor baby," Travis Parker, our grade's 'hotshot'/asshole give or take, sneered.

"Take a seat and don't let it happen again," Mr. Gregory said annoyed. The kid had two seats to sit in, one next to Amber Reynolds, and the one next to me. "Now," Mr. Gregory barked, making the guy jump. A few people, including myself, snickered. However I wasn't laughing at the kid, like my classmates, I was laughing because Mr. Gregory looked like a crab being boiled. Mr. Gregory looked at me and I laughed harder. "Is something funny Ms. Washington?"

I coughed down a laugh, "Uh, no sir." Thankfully the bell rang and I walked out of the classroom, Mr. Gregory glaring at me the entire time.

"Hey new kid."

"Oh god," I muttered, turning around, to see Parker talking to the new kid and it didn't look like words of comfort. Suddenly, his face turned from smirking to serious and he smashed the kid into a locker. "For Christ's Sake Parker, no one cares to see you TRY to show some 'Macho abilities' or whatever you call them, so leave," I pulled his shoulder, shoving him into the lockers, "him alone!" He stared at me, slightly shocked, but quickly recovered with a smirk.

"What're you gonna do about it, Washington," he asked mockingly, stepping closer. I, of course, stepped back.

"Aw, are you so desperate for Reynolds's attention you'll beat up guys she's making goo, goo eyes at AND flirt with the girl she hates? Aw I feel bad, I really do," I mocked right back. He glared at me.

"I don't need to beat him to a pulp for her attention."

"Then why're you doing it? Did he bruise your ego? Honestly, just get over yourself." His eyes narrowed even more but he walked off and I called after him, "And I'm NOT interested."

"You didn't have to do that."

"Right, he was just throwing you into a locker cause you guys are the best of buddies. Next time I'll totally stay out things," I said sarcastically, turning to the new kid.

"I am perfectly capable to fight my own battles," he said annoyed. I looked him up and down then smirked, looking back into his eyes.

"Sure you are," and I walked off to first period.



"You're gonna get hurt one day." I had just slammed one of Parker's friends into the condiments stand for making a remark about me. Something about how he'd like to . . . well you get the point. I hope.

"Abby, you and I both know, no one in this school would ever lay a finger on me cause I'd hit them," I said, carrying my tray to our table, "Or Damien would come after them with a bat." She laughed and ate a fry.

"Hey guys," Damien said, sitting next to me.

"Hey Day," we said simultaneously.

"Gotten detention yet?"

"Nope," I smiled. Someone poked my sides and I screeched, jumping closer to Damien.

"Never gets old," a voice laughed, sitting on the other side of me.

"Will, one day I'm gonna-."

"What, you're gonna what?" he smirked, facing me.

"I'm gonna, I," I fumbled, "I don't know right now, but when I do, I will."

"That made absolutely no sense."

"Shut up Max," I muttered. She laughed, sitting next to Abby and eventually the table was almost full with all my friends: Abby, Max, Sam, Ray, Damien, Will, and Vanessa.

"Oh wait, there's my cousin," Abby said suddenly, "I told you guys he was coming right?"

"Uh, no," I laughed.

"Well, now you know," she rolled her eyes, "AYE!"

"Jesus woman you could be a fog horn!" I muttered, covering my ears.

"A little lady in Indonesia didn't quite hear you Abs," a familiar voice said. I furrowed my eyebrows, trying to remember where I had heard it. When I couldn't figure it out, I turned around.

"YOU!" we both yelled, I jumped up, and he jumped back.

"Oh dang it, you've already met," Abby said in a slow, sarcastic way.

"You know him?"

"You know HER?"

"Wait, now, what's that supposed to mean," Damien growled annoyed, standing at an intimidating 6'2''.

"Down boy," I say, pulling on his shoulder, cause I couldn't exactly reach his head; he sat down, glaring at the guy.

"How'd you two meet?" Max laughed, making Damien glare at her, causing Will to glare at him.

"Parker was being a pig-headed . . . well himself," Vanessa laughed and I smiled, "So I decided to help out. This guy not Parker."

"I have a name."

"Yes and I'd use it, if I knew it."

"Ayden Maxwell," he said coldly.

"Right, I've had about-."

"Damien," Abby and I said annoyed. We smiled at each other but turned back to her cousin right as Parker walked by whispering something that I will not repeat, basically another name for a woman's, eh-hem, area. The Ayden kid spun around and punched him, sending Parker a few feet back. In short, a fight broke out and I ended up getting detention. One word: Gregory.

"The guy is out to get me," I muttered under my breath, turning back to Damien. He laughed and I glared at him.


"No you're not." He rolled his eyes and kissed my cheek, leaving for fourth period. I walked the opposite direction, to French, sinking into my seat, next to Abby. Afterwards, I made my way to Detention, which was being led by my music teacher and the school's director, Mrs. Benson.

"Natalia, what are you doing here?" she asked, somewhat surprised.

"Gregory," I sighed, sitting in the back, corner desk.

"That man," she said hotly. I smiled and took out a notebook. After a while, Mrs. Benson said she had to do something and she would be back shortly.

"So Maxwell," Parker drawled, "You gotten into her pants yet?"

"Whose?" Ayden asked darkly.

"Your girlfriends," Parker said, looking at me with that stupid smirk, "Washington." I gripped my pencil tighter but kept writing.

"She's not my girlfriend," Ayden said sharply.

"Oh so you don't mind if I fuck her," Parker asked in a humored tone. I wrote darker.

"So you plan on being a rapist," this made me stop writing, but I didn't look up, "You know cause, considering the fact that she probably hates your guts, she wouldn't want to sleep with you, so you'd have to rape her-."

"You little shit-."

"You're the one who said it, man, not me," Ayden said as I started writing again. I heard chairs screech and glanced up to see them glaring at each other.

"For Christ's Sake," I muttered, rolling my eyes.

"What Washington, you aren't going to protect your beloved Ayden?" Parker sneered, knowing it was pointless, but I didn't respond, instead I turned the page and continued writing. "Hey," he yelled, I heard him coming closer, "I'm talking to you." Again, I didn't respond. He lifted my desk and slammed it on the ground, making me look at him.

"What," I sighed, tired of the macho ego stuff.

He smirked, "You're nothing without your precious Damien to protect you." God, this was typical Travis Parker, he said anything to make something more 'amusing' for him. I rolled my eyes and he jolted my desk back, walking away.

"I'm not the one who's groveling for attention," I muttered, writing again.

"What did you say to me?" he yelled, throwing my desk, making me fall to the ground. I heard a rather loud thud and looked over to see Parker on the ground, Ayden standing over him, shaking out his fist slightly.

"You all right?" he asked, nodding at me.

"Yeah I'm fine," I said, sitting up, looking at my legs. I saw a hand extended and looked up at Ayden then back at the hand.

"It's just a hand, it's not gonna bite." I rolled my eyes and got up, not taking his hand. "Look," he said, as I picked up my desk, "I know we got off on the wrong foot but I was just trying to help."

"Yeah, thanks," I said, turning around. He held out my notebook and I took it.

"So we're good?"

"Sure," I shrugged, dropping the notebook on the table.

"Cool," he said, shoving his hands in his pockets.

"I guess," I said, looking at the clock, "Detention's over."

"Should we tell Mrs. Ben-."

"Dear god, what happened in here?" a voice screeched.

"I think she already knows," I said smiling, "Just a hunch." He laughed slightly and we explained what happened. Parker had two weeks of detention. We on the other hand had to clean out the storage room.

"I'm starting to think we are getting it way worse," Ayden muttered as we entered the storage room.

"It's not that bad," I said shrugging and he looked at me as though I was crazy, "It's better than cleaning the campus, trust me."

"So," he said after a while, "You get detention a lot?"

"Whenever Gregory's or Coach Matler is around," I said, picking up a cardboard treasure chest.

"What's Gregory's problem anyway?"

"He's got some issues," I said, throwing the chest into the huge file-like thing.

"No really."

"I think his therapist would agree with me when I say he needs anger management."

"Yeah, I would too."

"I think a lot of people would also agree with me when I say I pushed him into therapy," I smirked. Ayden laughed.

"He probably would have gone any way."

"Talk about sucky start. Getting yelled at by Gregory, thrown against locker, detention, oh yeah and being defended by a girl," I smirked.

"Don't forget cleaning out a theater storage room."

"Ah, of coarse," I said, almost falling over.

"Klutz," he muttered.

"And proud," I laughed. He rolled his eyes and after about two more hours, we were done. "Told you it wasn't that bad."

"I guess it's better then two weeks detention," he shrugged.

"And running around a track until you can't breathe," I said, cracking my fingers.

"You've had to do that?"

"I told you Coach Matler and Gregory have it out for me," I said smiling. He smiled, shaking his head.

"You're really different than most girls."

"So I'm told."

"Do you want a ride?" he asked, looking at me.

"Uh," I said, biting my lip.

"Oh right, your boyfriend would bash my head in," he said, in a tone I didn't like.


"That Damien guy," he said, not looking at me.

"Oh my-he's not my boyfriend," I said, laughing. He looked at me, fully serious but I didn't want to stand there with him looking at me like that. "I've got to go, I'll see you tomorrow," I said, running towards Damien's house. Suddenly, I ran out into the road without looking and heard a car honk but someone pushed me out of way, making the car swerve to a stop.

"Jesus Christ, what'd you do that for?" a man yelled, getting out of his car.

"Are you okay?" the person on top of me asked but I didn't open my eyes or answer, instead, I wriggled out from underneath him and began running again. Not caring where I was going, I just had to get away. All the seriousness and touchy stuff, I just couldn't handle. Suddenly, someone grabbed my wrist and spun me around. "Do you run from everything you're scared of?"

"No," I said defensively, "I wanted to get out of the middle of the street. I'm not scared of you. Let go."

"Could've fooled me," he said annoyed.

"Dude, you don't even know me. You can't just go judging me," I growled, "Would you let go of me?" His hand dropped and I continued walking. Suddenly my phone went off.

"Detention was let out three hours ago," Damien yelled into the phone, "Where the hell are you?"

"Oh hey Damien," I said annoyed, "I'm fine thanks for asking."

"Are you okay?" he asked sharply.

"I'm fine," I growled.

"Where are you?" he snarled.

"On the way to your house," I rolled my eyes.

"Well hurry the fuck up," he snapped.

"No Damien, I will take my sweet time," I yelled, "And I don't appreciate you swearing at me." Then I hung up, running my hand through my hair.

"Yeah, he's not your boyfriend," Ayden said sarcastically.

"What are you a stalker, leave," I said annoyed.

"Oh sure and have you be flattened by a bus, I don't think so."

"I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself."

"Sure you are," he smirked.

"You're a jerk," I said, feeling his hand brush against mine, I stuffed my hands into my pocket. He laughed coldly and we walked to Damien's in silence.

"You're bleeding," he said as I rang the doorbell, his hand on my arm but I pulled out of his grip. I looked down at my legs and shrugged, pushing past Damien when he opened the door. He grabbed my wrist and I, having enough of being handled, swung around, punching him in the jaw. His hand immediately dropped but he tackled me to the ground.

"DAMIEN GET OFF ME!" I yelled, hitting him as hard as I could.

"NOT UNTIL YOU FUCKING TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG," he roared, a scary, seriously face staring back down at me. I lay in silence, relaying what had happened and buried my face into him so no one could see me crying. He sat up, pulling me into his lap and stroked my hair as I told him what had happened. When I was finished, I was leaning against him with my eyes closed.

"Ayden, go into the kitchen and get the first aid kit off the counter," Damien said quietly. My head snapped up and I saw Ayden leaning against the doorframe, expressionless, but he nodded, leaving.

"I feel like I'm five," I muttered, throwing my head against Damien's chest again. He chuckled and I hit him upside the head but he started stroking my hair again. I closed my eyes again and heard something set against the floor.

"Are you okay?" Damien whispered again.

"A little shaken up but yeah, I'm fine," I said, but gasped at something touching my leg. Damien grabbed my hands, knowing what I would do and I dug my nails into him as Ayden cleaned out the cut.

"Jeez Nat, you're a baby," I heard Abby laugh from behind Damien.

"Shut up," I muttered, standing up.

"You are going to tell him what actually happened in detention, right," Ayden asked so only I could hear as Damien walked out with the first aid kit.

"Psh, no," I said laughing slightly, "Even I don't want to cause Parker that much pain." He raised his eyebrow but I waved my hand dismissively. "Wait a sec, Abs, what're you doing here?"

"I came cause I knew you'd be here," she said simply.

"Then why is your hair messed up, did you get jumped on the way over here or did someone jump you here?" I asked suspicious. She bit her lip, blushing slightly.

"Who wants to watch a movie?"

"Damien, I'm worried," I said, turning to him and he looked at me seriously.

"What's wrong?"

"I think Abby lost her Visa."

"Her what?" Ayden asked darkly.

"Nat," Abby said annoyed, "I still have it, don't start-."

"Oh no I see how it is," I say, folding my arms, "My best friends hook up and don't even tell me. You guys are such great friends." She looked hurt at my sarcasm but I rolled my eyes and left, slamming the door behind me. I'm off to see the Orphanage, the wonderful Orphanage of Terraline.

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/A FEW DAYS LATER\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

"Nat, c'mon, please, talk to me, please," Damien said for like the millionth time. I ignored him and slammed my locker shut, walking to detention. What had I gotten it for exactly? Sitting in the hallway during lunch. Yeah lame I know but that's Gregory for you. I took my usual seat, in the back corner and put on my ipod. Someone pulled a headphone out and I glared at him.

"What do you want, Maxwell?"

"Ooh, last name terms," he said sarcastically, "Would you just get over yourself and talk to Abby."

"Why should I?"

"Because I don't like seeing my cousin upset like this."

"Deal," I said simply.

"What the fuck is your problem?" he asked rather loud, making a few heads turn.

"I'm not the one yelling profanity," I said, glaring at him, "And I don't respond to people swearing at me."

"You need to see a shrink."

"You've got so many issues, your parents couldn't get a shrink qualified enough to help." He smirked slightly, shaking his head.

"Would you just talk to them?"


"Why not," he asked, probably tired of me.

"Because I do not take kindly to being lied to," I tried to put my head phone back in but he grabbed my hand, pushing it down and I dropped the headphone, laying my hand on the desk.

"You weren't lied to."

"Fine, being the last to know. It's practically the same thing."

"No it's not."

"Stop talking to me."


"Because you're bugging me and I would hate to punch my best friend's cousin."

"I don't see why Abigail puts up with you," he muttered and I let out an annoyed breath, putting my earphone back in. As soon as detention was over, I ran out and back to the orphanage.

"I'm home!" I yelled, hanging my jacket on the hall tree. The smell of cookies filled my nose and I braced myself for an explosion. "Ruby?"

"Dear, sit down," she said, "I need you to baby-sit tonight. I have to go to a thing."

"Jeez Ruby, that's too much information, I don't know if I can't remember it all."

"Oh, you," she laughed, wiping flour on my nose, "I'm going to talk with Josh and Ian's councilor. I thought you were going to watch out for them."

"Uh, I haven't seen them," I said innocently.

"Yes, you forgot I know."

"I'm sorry, I've been busy. Trying to avoid two teachers and keep up my grades is really hard. Just be thankful I don't have Gregory for English. That would be mega bad." She smiled. "So what else is new?"

"Abby called, so did Damien now that I think about it. Several times. Natalia darling, is there something you want to tell me?"

"No, I'm just annoyed with them," I shrugged.

"Honey whatever it is, don't let it ruin your friendship completely," she said softly.

"I wont," I sighed, picking up a cookie, "I have homework, I'll talk to you later." I walked out into the hallway and saw Ayden talking to Tina, a kid who also lived in the orphanage. She was 13. "T, what have I said about answering the door to strangers."

"Jesus Christ Nat, I'm not four," she said annoyed, rolling her eyes.

"Tina," I said in a warning tone. She rolled her eyes again.

"He said he is a friend of yours."

"More like stalker," I muttered and Ayden glared at me slightly.

"Nat, you're so lucky," she whined.

"Jeez T, I don't know, last time I checked a stalker is a bad thing," I said, raising my eyebrow, "Go upstairs, boy crazy little girl."


"Tina!" Ruby yelled from the kitchen, "I need your help." Tina rolled her eyes, leaving and I folded my arms, glaring at Ayden.

"What are you doing here?"

"I needed to talk to you," he said, looking around.

"I'll talk to Abby and Damien," I said, rolling my eyes, "Happy?"

"That's not what I'm talking about."

"What do you need to talk to me about?"

"The other day, it's been bugging me."

"Which other day, there are a lot of other days."

"The one when I pushed out of the way of the car," he growled annoyed.

"What about it," I asked, shrugging.

"Why'd you run away?"


"You know-."

"Chill out would you," I said annoyed, "There are small children in here." He stood, staring at me slightly shocked but before he could say anything Ruby came in.

"Honey, you need to get dinner ready, I have to leave," she said, grabbing her jacket and purse.

"You did all that cooking and you didn't make dinner?" I asked laughed. She smiled and glanced at Ayden. "He wont be here much longer."

"He can stay, just no funny business."

"Ruby!" I screeched.

"Bye Nat," she laughed leaving.

"Sorry about that," I said, turning to the kitchen, "Not many people come here for me."

"Why not?" he asked, following me into the kitchen.

"Not many people know where I live," I said slowly.

"So you really are her stalker?" Tina asked dreamily.

"Hey, Flirty McFlirt-Machine, don't you have homework?" I asked annoyed.

"God Nat, it's not like he's your boyfriend," she said rolling her eyes. I swear it's like anything you say, they roll.

"See this," I said, pointing to the area around her, "This is why guys don't like you." Her jaw dropped and she ran off.

"Was that really necessary," Ayden asked, smiling slightly.

"It's better she hear it from me than an actual guy," I muttered, putting a pan on the stove. Then I realized something: "Did I ever actually thank you for helping me?"

"No, you didn't thank me for saving you, you just ran off," he said, tapping a pencil against the counter.

"Well, thanks," I said, turning to face him.

He smiled, "Any time."

"So are you staying or are you going to leave?" I asked after a while, turning back to the stove.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Which one?"

"You know perfectly well which," he said annoyed, "Would you quit being annoying."

"Aw, but it's so fun," I said mockingly. Suddenly, I was pinned against the wall but he wasn't touching me. He just had one hand one either side of me, trapping me against the wall.

"You're almost as annoying as your thing with people touching you," he said quietly before his lips brushed mine. I held my breath; he must have noticed because he stepped back.

"You should go."


"Just, please, Ayden," I said barely audible, looking at him, tears brimming my eyes, "Go." He stared at me but hesitantly left.

"And you say I have issues with guys," Tina said from behind me.

"It's more complicated than that," I said annoyed, "Order pizza, I have to talk to people." She rolled her eyes but picked up the phone. I took out my cell phone about to walk outside but Damien was standing there.

"Look before you say anything, Nat, we were going to tell you. We had to figure stuff out before we could. We're both really sorry and if it's too awkward, we'll deal."

"Damien don't do that because of me," I said annoyed, sitting in a chair on the porch, feeling the tears start to trickle down my cheeks.

"Tali, what's wrong," he asked, crouching in front of me.

"I don't know," I said, sobbing into my hands; he wrapped his arms around me, "I hate this. I tried really hard to stop it but I couldn't. I tried not to talk to him, I tried not being nice, and he didn't even have to touch me. I couldn't stop it."

"Is this about Ayden?"

"No it's about the Easter bunny," I said sarcastically, "Of coarse it's about Ayden you twit."

"You can't control your feelings Nat," he said softly, "What're you so afraid of?"

"I don't want to get hurt," I whispered, barely audible, "I mean yeah, I didn't know my parents but I still cared about them and you almost getting arrested and the car accident; then Abby with the tree-."

"You know she doesn't blame you for that," he said sternly.

"But still I dared her to climb it and she fell and-and it's like something bad happens to all people I really care about."

"Nothings happened to Ruby or my parents," he said comfortingly.

"Yeah but-."

"Tali, you need to stop making yourself worse. You've got people who love and care about you and you know as well as I do not letting people touch you isn't going to stop you from caring about people or them you. That makes sense right?" I laughed slightly and let him pull me into his lap.

"I get what you mean," I said as he wrapped his arms around me.

"I missed you, you know," he said into my hair, "I hate it when we fight or you're not talking to me."

"Me too," I smiled, "I'm pretty sure there isn't anyone who could make me more comfortable or who is more comfortable than you. So how goes it with you and Abby?"

"She won't talk to me because you weren't talking to us," he muttered.

"Why am I the one who has to fix everything?" I asked exasperatedly.

"Cause normally you're the one who screws it up," he laughs.

"I resent that." He stuck out his tongue and I laughed.

"And you have to talk to Ayden."

"Please don't remind me," I muttered, burying my head into his neck.

"What happened?"

"He came over," I sighed, "We were talking and he kissed me but I told him to leave."

"Wait he what?" Damien asked, jumping up.

"Ow," I moaned, getting up also, "Yeah, he came over macho man but nothing happened. You have no reason to be all stupid, you're the one who was all over Abby."

"I've known her my entire life, you're known Ayden for a couple of days, there is a difference."

"Just forget it, alright, I screwed it up, nothing else is going to happen."


Okay so I threw a volleyball at one of Amby's bimbos, she spiked one in my face, whereas I only got the back of the bimbo's head. I had to do something! Coach Matler didn't see it like that. So I got detention. Big shocker there, so anyway, I made my way to detention and saw Ayden sitting in the opposite corner from my seat. Letting out a sigh, I took my seat and took out my notebook. Looking back on the previous stories/poems, I got an idea. When detention was over, I walked around the back of the classroom, dropping the paper on Ayden's desk, and walked out of the room.

"Hey there Greta," I smiled, picking up the four year old in my arms. It always amazed me that Ruby could raise thirteen kids, ranging from two to sixteen. Greta tugged at a keychain and I laughed slightly, putting her down. I walked into the 'homework room' and saw Tim sitting there close to tears. "What's the matter Tim?"

"No one likes me," he sobbed into my shirt.

"Aw honey, I like you," I told softly.

"But no one at school likes me because I live here," he said, looking at me, "I want a family."

"Tim, do you know what a family is?" I asked ruffling his hair, "It's people who love and care for you. They don't have to be blood related but as long as they want only the best, they are your family."

"Are you my big sister Natalia," he asked hope sparkling in his eyes.

"Of coarse I am, I love ya you silly goose," I laughed, hugging him tight.

"I love you too," he said.

"Someone's at the door for you." I turned around to see Tina, arms folded, and looking like she had better things to do.

"Tina how about you and me go to the mall sometime," I suggested, standing up, "Just us. We'll look for some cute guys." Something remarkable happened. She smiled and hugged me.

"You promise?" she asked eagerly.

"I promise," I laughed, walking out of the room, "Can you help Tim with his homework?" She nodded and sat next to Tim. I smiled and walked down the hall. "Hey there."

"Is this true?" Ayden asked, holding up my paper from detention.

"Way to get straight to the point," I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes.

"Natalia, is it?" he asked seriously and I looked down at the floor, nodding.


"Everything?" he asked.

"Stop being annoying."

"Aw but it's fun," he smirked. I rolled my eyes and he reached out for my hand. "It's just a hand, it's not gonna bite." I laughed but took it and let him pull me closer. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me.

"I love you," I whispered, my forehead against his.

"I love you too Natalia and I love you in my arms."

"Me too."