AN: Sorry it took so long to get this up here... I had a bout of writers block and then i just didn't feel like writing anymore, but I'm back! Thank you AtouchofmagiC! You got me going again with your awesome review!


Chapter 5- Memory Lane

I kept running, until I reached the cement road. By then it had started to rain, but I kept running. I heard a car pass by me but I didn't look up to see who it was. The rain was running down the side of my face and into my eyes but I didn't stop running until I realized I didn't know where I was going. So I slowed down to a walking pace but took long steps. I just wanted to get away from everyone.

But that didn't last long, because a car slowed down coming up from behind me, and honked it's horn. I didn't want to turn around and look at who it was. A familiar truck came up next to me and I still didn't look. I could tell by the voice who the truck belonged to.

"Hey need a ride?"

"No I'm fine Mark just go away." I still didn't look at him. The rain continued to drip into my eyes and run down my face, but I just couldn't look at him, and kept walking looking straight ahead.

"Rose its raining. Just come on and get inside my truck and I'll take you home."

"No Duh Sherlock, I know it's raining. And what if I don't want to go home? What if I want to stay out here and walk?"

"Then I'll take you to my house. Just get in my truck and don't argue with me or I'll have to use force." I laughed at that, but it came out a strangled gurgle and I knew that if I didn't get in that truck then I was going to get sick. But go back to his house? I haven't been there in years. AH what the heck?

I stopped walking and immediately the truck stopped too. I turned to face him but didn't look at him. Instead I got into the truck and tried to put on the stupid seat belt. I was wet and my fingers weren't working very well. I sat there and didn't say anything and his only move was to reach down and pull out the blanket we used to lay on that one starry night. He handed it to me and I wrapped it around myself, noticing now that I was shaking and drenched head to toe.

"Guess we're going to my house?" he said eyes on the road not even looking at me. But I only nodded and looked out the rain-covered windows.

When we got there I got out immediately and went to the porch leaving the blanket in the truck. He came up behind me, unlocked the door and went in. I followed close behind him.

"In my room are some clothes that might fit you. Just follow me." And without waiting to see if I'd follow he went into a hallway off to the right. But I could still hear his footsteps on the soft carpet and went after him. It was too quiet here and I thought about Eve. Where is she and what would she think if I were here alone with Mark?

But I couldn't think about anything else because I was at his door and going into it. I looked around and saw a dark room with posters and dark curtains hanging on the windows. Everything was dark even though the light was on.

"Here are the clothes. You can get dressed in the bathroom. I'm going to change too." Mark handed me a long pair of shorts and a big shirt with a smiley face on it that looked like the Wal-Mart logo.

"Why don't you wear this anymore?" I said holding up the shirt.

"Because I wear that to bed sometimes and it was the first thing I picked out of my drawers for you to wear." He answered going to another set of drawers.

"Ok then. What's up with all the dark colors in here? You trying to be a punk rocker?" I was glad to see that I was in the joking mood, which meant that I was getting more comfortable here.

"Now you want to talk. All the way home you looked like you wanted to jump out of the truck and run some more. I swear I saw you reach for the door handle more than once." He was joking trying to make me stop ragging on him, and it was working to an extent.

"I did not reach for the door handle! I was shaking too much to even think about reaching out of the blanket I was wrapped in!" I said smiling.

"Whatever just go change and meet me in the living room." He said pushing me out of the room. I swear once that door was closed I could hear the muted sound of curtains being drawn back. I laughed softly to myself and went in search for a bathroom nearby.

When I found one I went in and stripped off my clothes and put on the new dry ones. My bra was a little wet but still wearable and my hair was a mess when I looked in a mirror. I looked around for a comb or a brush and found one with red hair in it. It was Eve's. I brushed until some of the knots were out, then left the bathroom to look for the living room.

I got to the living room and noticed for the first time how little everything felt to me now. The big sofa from my childhood years was still here but it didn't look so big to me now. And the kitchen connected to the living room isn't all that big anymore.

I plopped down on the seat where I used to sit and got comfortable putting my feet under me and looked around some more, waiting for Mark. The entertainment center changed to a big screen and on the shelves next to it knick-knacks of all kinds. But one picture made me stop short and stare at it. A small smile forming on my lips I got up off the couch and went over to it. And sure enough it was the picture I thought it was.

Me and Mark when we were six playing in the mud. Only I was the one with mud on my hands and Mark looked like he wanted to cry with mud on his head. I had a huge smile on my face and looked triumphant that I finally got him. When we were little he used to put mud on my head all the time and I guess that time I got him when he wasn't looking or expecting it. Now I laughed softly to myself remembering that I wasn't the one to go home that day with mud in my hair, he was.

"Good times, good times. Wish we were young again." A voice said from behind me and I turned around and looked at Mark.

"Yea you were so mean to me back then. What happened?" I asked jokingly.

"I don't know but I could still put mud in your hair. There's some outside." He said as he came to sit on the couch. I went back to the couch and sat next to him folding my feet under me. I smiled at him and he smiled back. It was an awkward silence but I didn't have anything to say, and he didn't look like he wanted to talk either. So I sat there until he turned on the TV and asked me what I wanted to watch. I didn't know so I just shrugged and slumped on the couch resting my head back on the headrest.

The next thing I was aware of was someone shaking me awake. I pried my eyes open and looked into the face of Mark standing over me.

"What? Don't you know that it's rude to wake someone who was dreaming of… of…? I forgot what I was dreaming about, but it was good and I want to get back to it." I closed my eyes faking it but he shook me again.

"Do you want me to take you home, it stopped raining?" he asked.

"What? Um, no not yet. I just got here." I was still trying to figure out my dream and it was one that when you wake up you want to fall back asleep to dream about it again.

"Ok then stay up and talk to me, even though I like watching you sleep."

I sat up, ignored that last comment, and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.

"What time is it?"

"Almost five. But it's dark out now."

"Mark? About today…"

I didn't know what came over me to run away from everyone but I did and now people are going to recognize me as the one that ran away at her father's funeral.

"What about today?" he asked urging me to speak.

"I'm sorry. I forgot all about your father's funeral and how you weren't even there for it." I couldn't look at him, but I could feel him stiffen at the mention of his father. Unlike me he loved his father and was so heart broken that he couldn't face seeing his father get put in the ground.

"I got over it. And soon you will too. But what I don't get is why you were so upset when you didn't even know your father…" His words died away and recognition registered on his face. "I'm sorry Rose I didn't mean it like that."

"No it's okay. I mean I didn't know my father and I guess that's why I'm upset, because I didn't get to know him and now I never will." I looked down at my hands folded together in my lap. I felt a hand under my chin lifting it up and I looked into Mark's eyes. He leaned in and wrapped his arms around me hugging me, and I cried silently into his neck holding him close.

"Rose when you guys left, Paul was a mess. Eve went over there, cleaned him up, and told him to get a job if he ever wanted to see you again. And he did too, but you just never came back. You moved all over the place and never had one address so he could send you stuff or call to wish you happy birthday. But he kept that job and he got the whole town to love him and now they all miss him."

"Is that supposed to make me feel better? Cause it's not working. All its doing is telling me that my mom had a reason to keep moving and how the town loves him and not me." I stopped crying but a few tears escaped down my cheek and onto Mark's shirt. I was still holding onto him and it didn't feel like he was going to let me go anytime soon.

"I was trying to but if you got that out of the story then I guess I'm a bad story teller." He was always trying to make me feel better. It seemed when I was around him I was always crying. I vow to not cry on Mark again, no matter what. But right now he was making me feel a little better and I pulled away laughing softly.

"Feel better?" he asked backing up too.

"No and that's the second and last time I'm going to cry on you." I said wiping off the last remnants of tears.

"I don't mind even though I'm running out of shirts." He said smiling.

"Thank you Mark." I said sincerely looking him in the eyes. All joking went out the window with that and he started to lean toward me. I leaned toward him too and our lips were just inches apart when we heard the sound of the front door open. We jumped back and looked to the door to see Eve coming with Peggy right behind her.

"See I told you she would be here with Mark!" Eve said triumphantly. Peggy rushed towards me and I stood up ready for anything, except what I got. A big fat squash-you-'til-it-hurts hug.

"I was so worried honey!" Peggy gushed as she kept hugging me, and I looked at Mark for a sign of rescue. But he was enjoying this; he had a huge smile on his face.

"Mom please let me go. I'm fine. Where else could I have gone except Dylan's?"

She let go of me but held onto my shoulders looking at me. But then she smiled and I swear she knew where I was but was just acting worried for Eve. I know that smile and that was a 'I know everything smile'.

"Well that's what I thought but he was still at the funeral when we left so I figured that if Mark was gone then you must be over here with him. And we were right." When she was this close to me I could smell something on her breath; alcohol. I looked more closely at my mom and saw that she was a little unsteady on her feet and that was why she was still holding onto my shoulders.

"Your drunk!" I said to her and dropped her hands from my shoulders and took a step back. She swayed a little but kept her balance.

"I am not!" but she slurred and I knew that was why she didn't come looking for me right away. They were both probably drunk. But then how did they get home?

"Eve how did you get home?" I turned toward her ignoring Peggy who was about to get on my last nerve.

"Don dropped us off here. Don't get your panties in a wad, Mother!" she burst out laughing and soon Peggy was laughing too. I narrowed my eyes at both of them and looked around to find Mark. He was in the kitchen fixing some coffee; I could smell it.

Peggy plopped down on the couch and soon Eve followed sitting next to her. I looked at both of them exasperated and went into the kitchen with Mark. I looked closely at him and he looked amused.

"Will you help me get Peggy home? And why do you look so amused about this? Our mom's are drunk and you just come in here-" I was stopped abruptly by Mark's lips on mine and his hands around my waist. I didn't know how to react so I just kissed him back standing up on my tiptoes and putting my arms around his neck. When we broke apart we were both breathing heavy and we didn't move out of each other's embrace.

"I always finish what I start." He said.

I smiled and looked into his eyes, he looked into mine and it seemed like we were going to kiss again but the coffee pot made a noise signaling that it was done and we both snapped out of it, backing out of each other's arms.

Eve came in grumbling and grabbed a mug in the dish strainer and made a cup of coffee. Peggy followed in the same fashion and they both left together with cups of coffee in their hands back to the couch.

They both fell asleep soon after that and my hope of getting Peggy home vanished. Me and Mark left them on the couch to sleep and went to his room for a blanket or two to put over them.

"I guess I can sleep over then." I said as we laid the blankets over them.

"Yea you can sleep on my bed and I'll sleep on the floor in my room." He replied.

"I'm going to call Don tomorrow and yell at him that he left two drunken ladies to take care of by myself."

"You weren't alone, I was here and this is my house he dropped them off at."

"I know I just want to make him feel bad." I said going over to him and grabbing the last blanket and laying it over my mom. I felt hands go around my waist and I leaned back into him.

"You know you don't have to sleep on the floor, I can. I'm used to it, and your not." I said turning around to face him. He smiled and leaned down to kiss me again, but I turned my head at the last minute and he kissed my ear instead. I laughed and stepped out of his arms catching him off guard. I danced away from him and went to his room to lay down some more blankets he got out earlier.

"That was not nice." He said as he followed me into his room and shut the door.

I was finished with the pile of blankets that now made a comfy bed and I was about to lie down on them when I smashed into another body.

"Mark! Get up and get on your own bed! This is mine! You can't have both!" I whispered as loud as I could.

"You get up and go to my bed! I don't like you sleeping on the floor when you can have the bed." It was too dark to see anything so I couldn't see him but I was pretty sure he was smiling.

"This is not burger king! You can't have it your way!" But I was laughing at my own stupid joke to fight with him on this. "Fine! You win! We'll both sleep down here then!"

"Fine, my beds lumpy anyway you probably won't like it." He scooted closer to me and wrapped his arms around my waist. I laid my head against his chest and he put his chin on top of my head.

"Rose?"

"Huh?"

"I'm glad you're here."

Glad I'm in his arms or glad that I moved here? But I didn't have time to think about it because I fell asleep thinking about the way his arms feel around me stirring emotions deep down in my stomach making it flutter.