Chapter One

By: Midnight Siren

I am officially pissed, where the hell did Holden go? The hallway is full of people, I can't even discern where a girl starts and a boy ends they're all over each other. There were several times that bile rose in my throat to see someone getting a little too familiar with someone else in public. A small plant made someone stumble and swear past me, I tried to hide a smile and skirted around it. Some people were just here for a good old time, but a good deal of them were here to meet others of the opposite sex. It looked like some were even here for the same sex, I'd seen more than one pair of girls hanging off each other. Once a girl even forced a drink on me, I couldn't be rude and refuse so I took it and scrunched up my nose at the blatant taste of alcohol in it. That was the last time I would ever accept anything from crazy hormone driven females.

Holden's bright blonde hair and crystal blue eyes caught my eye when I strolled into what I guessed was the dining room, I wasn't sure with the people lined against the walls and the lights almost all turned off. My hip brushed close with the table making me dodge away from a bigger lad that nearly bowled right into me. Girls seemed to track me down like a pack of wolves and flirt with me, I tried to be polite but some of them needed a few firm words. One girl actually caught my attention with her bright red hair and green eyes, she kind of looked like me. When she looked up she gave me a sour look and I returned it, she smiled challengingly beckoning me over. She was pretty, and her shirt accented her eyes a dark velvety green and she also wore skinny jeans with little jewels running down the side.

"G'evening." I smiled sheepishly and she put her hands on her hips.

"Drop the act deary, you're not fooling me with that accent. So stop trying to impress me now." she growled at me, I thought she would actually bare her teeth at me.

"Em, 'scuse me?" why was she being so hostile?

"I've had plenty of guys give me cheesy one-liners, but you're the first to actually fake an accent!" she looked really pissed and I hadn't even done anything!"

"Me name's Asher Sheehy, I'm the foreign exchange student from Scotland." her face was blank for a moment before it went as red as her hair and she covered her face in shame.

"I'm so sorry!" she moved her hands again and looked at me pleadingly. "I totally didn't mean to snap at you like that, I've had so many cheesy guys come up to me tonight and try to get in my pants. I didn't mean to be so mean!"

"It's all right, you're just looking out for y'self. Not like it's the first time I've been yelled at for no fault of mine." I replied a chuckle bubbled from my throat.

"I'm still sorry, my name's Jennifer Donner. And I have a boyfriend if you're daring to hit on me." her smile was bright for a moment before it fell, her eyes looking past me. "That stupid... "

I turned and saw no one of interest until a rowdy brunet started laughing loud enough to wake the dead in Ireland. Without asking I knew that it was the boy Jennifer was talking about, one look at her tearful face made my heart melt. She swore and tried to rub away the evidence of her sadness, but it only served to open the flood gates for more tears. Out the corner of my eye I saw him ditch the girl he was basically molesting and start walking over to us. Giving him the American finger I ushered my new friend away from all the talk and looks. Jennifer was bawling openly once we got into the hallway away from most people, I tried my best to calm her down but I could only bring down the amount of her tears a small bit.

"I'm really sorry, for yelling at you and bursting into tears. I should be used to him being like this already." she sighed brokenly, her voice still shaking.

"You shouldn't be used to bein' treated like property, I don't know how Americans view their women in relationships but me mum always taught me to treat women with respect no matter how angry I get. It's a bunch of bullocks that you'd be alright being treated like this!"

She started giggling, first softly and then slowly grew more forceful until she had to lean against a wall to keep herself from falling over. "And they say chivalry is dead, you're a really nice guy Asher. Why are you at a party like this?"

"Holden abandoned me here after he caught sight of his latest gal, we have been pen pals since we were very small and barely old enough to write. I moved from overseas just a few weeks ago, been unpacking ever since, I finally got to meet Holden face to face after so many years."

"Then it's official! You're my new best friend. Holden and I have known each other since I beat him up in preschool." her tears were almost gone now, and I was glad to know that I had another friend in this country. "So what's Ireland like? From what I've seen online and in books its supposed to be really pretty."

"Lots of rocks to run across, I grew up around Loch Ness if you take a wee dip on a summer mornin' to wake y'self up. It's feking freezing, but it does the body good." I laughed, more than once had my friends and I taken such a wee dip and nearly lost the family jewels.

"So what about the Loch Ness Monster? Is it all true?" her eyes lit up when the famous monster's name passed her lips.

"There is no monster, I've been swimming in the loch for years and I haven't been eaten." She looked let down when I told her that.

Jennifer was a very nice girl, one of the nicest I'd met since I had come to the states and she wasn't trying to stick her hands down my pants as a plus. She was originally from California, there she had met her first boyfriend who had turned out to be a druggie and a jerk. Though she was trying to quit she smoked pot and did recreational drugs, she drank and smoked but she never did them all at the same time.

"I may be a stoner and a druggie, but I'm not a stupid one. He got me hooked when I was thirteen, luckily not on anything hardcore. Smokes, alcohol, pot, some prescription drugs that my mom gets, nothing too bad." she led me out onto the back porch where the half moon hung overhead bathing everything in a soft light, Jennifer pulled a cigarette from behind her ear and lit it carefully.

She took a few puffs of her smoke letting us fall into a comfortable silence before she turned and screeched happily darting away. Her arms wrapped around an unfamiliar teen's neck his midnight hair dangled in his eyes and his green eyes were relaxed as he listened to Jennifer chatter. Skins pale as the moon, the green eyes, different hair colors though, I could swear that they were related somehow. Jennifer suddenly whirled on me and dragged me over to the strange boy, his pale jade eyes rested on me almost predator like. I'd seen him earlier, he was pretty good looking and had had a group of girls hanging around him. Though I usually kept my eyes to myself, I thought that he was handsome and I had stared a bit though I don't think he saw me.

"My name's Cole, a senior, Jen here seems to think you're God's gift to man." his voice had a dark note to it, a sort of mocking tone that annoyed me slightly. "Asher was it?"

"Asher Sheehy. Freshman. Apparently I have a huge sign plastered on me face that says com and talk to me because I've had about twenty girls swarm me in the last hour alone." I kept my tone as light as I could without sounding too annoyed, what boy in their right mind wouldn't like all that attention? Note sarcasm.

"You don't like the attention?" he hit the nail on the head. "You shy or something?"

"Well, it's kind of complicated... " I ran a hand through my bangs nervously, an annoying tick I'd developed when I was younger.

Jennifer's so-called boyfriend suddenly appeared in the doorway looking annoyed and slightly guilty. She looked furious and looked like she might start crying again, but she went with him anyway. Cole and I followed them inside standing just out of earshot while they talked, Jen didn't look happy at all. He seemed like a nice guy who couldn't keep his hands to himself, but I liked Jennifer more than I liked him.

"I've seen you around before, mostly around Holden. You two friends?" he asked eyeing my hand.

"Right, we've been pen-pals for a few years now. Started back in about third grade I think." I replied, my eyes ventured from Jennifer and her boyfriend for a moment, resting on the teen beside me.

"That accent, you're the exchange student? From Ireland?" he had a weird look in his eye, his eyes reminded me of a cat's green with a band of gold. "Through the grape vine I've heard many an interesting thing, like all the girls are upset because you won't talk to them. That you pay more attention to anything else, but the girls around you, you really should take them up on some of their offers."

"I'm from Scotland and I'd rather not seeing how they all just want to get in my pants, and they're not exactly my type." I replied searching for the now missing Jennifer, I didn't like being alone with him it made me nervous.

"That's too bad, you had some nice picks vying for your attention." he chuckled lightly as if he were laughing at his own personal little joke.

"Right, I'm guessing you know your way around a woman or ten by the way you're talking, you could probably tell me all about them if I cared to ask." I snapped striding forward and skirting around him, it seemed to catch him by surprise when I slipped past.

When my back hit a wall my first reaction was to fling an arm towards my attacker's face, but he had my hands pinned over my head in under a minute. "Chill, don't think I didn't notice where your eyes have been venturing all night." he grinned again and I wanted to punch him. "Jennifer saw it too."

"So what are you going to do about it?" I asked him my expression blank, but serious while my stomach roiled. "So what'll it be, you going to go call your jock buddies and beat the living daylights out of me? Or are you going to say that you're some sympathizer that can put me back on the right path to God?"

His face was that of surprise there for a few seconds, we simply stared at each other for that short span of time. I was able to get a closer look at him now, his dark charcoal locks hung in his eyes, but was cut short at his neck. When I looked into them his eyes were very guarded and critical, his nose was a bit sharp, his lips were full and he had a scar at the corner of his right eye. Of course his shoulders were wide and his skin pale, the outline of muscle through the button up shirt he wore caught my eye. What had first caught my eye was the short silver chain around his neck and the little cartouche hanging from it. Glaring at him I waited for him to make a move, to lunge or call someone or just do anything other than stare at my face.

"You've been through a lot haven't you?" my chest tightened, his face softened and he released my hands. "Trust me, I'm not either of those guys. When I saw you looking at me I was curious, sorry."

"It's fine." that weird tightness in my chest was still in place, it made my limbs kind of jerky and nervous when I moved. "You won't tell anyone right? I haven't even told Holden yet."

"There are a lot of guys at this party... who are the same as you." he said slowly staring into my eyes as if he seriously wanted me to understand, then he smiled. "I... am one of them, I have liked guys more than girls for a couple years now, you?"

"I've known since I was eleven, girls freak me out." I replied, he was very easy to talk to when he wasn't looking like he was going to eat my face, I felt some of the heat leave my body when he moved away.

"I can keep this a secret, but there are a lot of people who are going to be asking me questions." he put on a reassuring smile after he saw the fury in my face. "I'm not going to blackmail you, I simply want to get to know you better, you seem like a cool guy."

"I've only ever dealt with another guy once, it didn't end too well." I replied brushing my autumn locks out of my eyes, they were sticking to my forehead.

"Did he hurt you?" his face was serious until he saw something in my expression and he laughed moving away from me. "You sent him to the hospital."

"Jerk stuffed his hands down my pants, I broke his face." the thought of that bastard still irked me, stupid party made everything so hot I was sweating like crazy.

"Hey you okay?" his voice was warped and garbled, "Hey! Hey! You okay? Hey come on, talk to me."

My mouth wouldn't work, and my body was burning, I felt like I was going to be sick, then suddenly I was cold and shivering. "Shit... " he lifted me from the floor, -when had I fallen?- and it felt like he went up stairs with me in his arms. "Come on, talk to me."

"I feel... sick... " I mumbled placing a hand over my mouth and clamping my lips together, I wasn't about to get sick all over him.

"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Did you drink anything? Did someone give you anything weird to eat or drink?" he asked as my back touched something soft and comfortable. "Hey come on, did you eat or drink something weird?"

"A girl, gave me some punch... " he swore again and yanked off my shirt, baring my chest, then disappeared.

He put some cool cloth under both my arms and on my forehead, I felt a little better, but my body was still switching between burning and freezing. "How much did you drink?"

" ... " I blacked out.