Before Reading: 1) I promise I won't do a 'before reading' every chapter! And 2) the name Laurel is the character Landry, it's just her temp name if you didn't catch it in the chapter before. Okay, finished, I promise!

Chapter Two

Joel got off of work at 8. He would have forgotten about Laurel if it wasn't for him accidentally leaving his coat in the storage room. "Gosh, you scared me!" He jumped when he saw her sitting on the bag of beans, like he had left her.

"Sorry." She said.

"No problem, really. We're going to have to wait, though. My boss doesn't know you're here, and it would be in the interest of you and me for him not to." He told her. She nodded. The two spent another hour or so in storage closet. Neither of them spoke to each other, creating an awkward tension between both of them.

Finally, the lights shut off in the storage room. "Good," Joel whispered somewhere in the darkness. "My boss has shut down all the lights, meaning he's leaving. In a minute or so, we'll leave."

Laurel shook with excitement. She couldn't wait until she was finally staying somewhere else than St. Mary's.

A minute later, the duo crept out of the shop. Joel locked up the shop with his set of master keys, and then they started down the street that had quieted.

As they walked, Joel noticed Laurel shaking. It was no wonder, her only clothes for warmth was a dingy jacket too small for her.

"Here, take my jacket. I'm used to the cold." Joel took off his warm leather jacket and placed it around Laurel's shoulders.

Laurel was about to protest, but she hadn't been this warm outside since…well, she couldn't remember.

They walked in silence until they reach an old looking apartment. It wasn't old like broken down or anything, it was more like Grandma's house.

Joel and Laurel climbed up the stairs two steps at a time. Joel fished around in his pocket for his key. "Here they are." He muttered to himself and he let themselves in.

The room was dark except for the small glow from the TV. "Ma?" Joel asked hesitantly.

"Over here, Joel." A woman's voice called out. Joel and Laurel slowly crept over to the couch. "And who is this?" Joel's mother asked when she saw Laurel.

"She's a friend." Joel said.

"A friend you're bringing home at 10pm?" His mother raised her eyebrow.

"It's not like that! She's forgotten her memory and she has nowhere to stay." Joel defended.

Joel's mother looked relieved. "Fine." She sighed.

"Thank you, Ms.—"

"Joanna. And you are?" Ms. Joanna finished for Laurel.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'm Laurel." Laurel said, a tad bit embarrassed.

"Alright, then. Joel, show Laurel to her room." Joel nodded at his mother's request.

On their way to the back, Laurel piped up, "You and your mom look nothing alike."

"I'm adopted." Joel said.

"Oh." Laurel felt guilty for asking.

"It's alright; I've known that ever since I was 9. I got over it." Joel shrugged.

"How old are you now?" Laurel asked.

"I'm 16, but I'm going to be 17 in a couple of months." Joel answered.

"How old do I look?" Laurel questioned. They stopped in the middle of the hall.

"15, 16ish." Joel contemplated. Laurel shrugged.

At the end of the hall was a door. "This is it. The guest room." Joel pushed open the door and flipped on the light. They room was small, but definitely bigger and cozier looking than the rooms at St. Mary's. Laurel flopped down on the bed.

"This mattress is sooo comfortable!" She sighed and closed her eyes.

"Really? I always thought of this mattress to be kind of hard." Joel pressed down on the bed.

"Good night, Joel!" Laurel snuggled up happily in the bed spread and closed her eyes.

"You're going to go to bed like that?" He said astonished.

"These are my only clothes." Laurel's eyes popped open as she gestured to her current attire.

"I could lend you an old shirt, and maybe some shorts." Joel suggested.

Laurel shrugged. "Okay, then."

Joel left and came back only to see Laurel sleeping when he came back. He smiled to himself as he watched her sleep peacefully curled up in a ball. He left his shirt and shorts there for her just in case she woke up.

Turning off the lights, he looked back at her and said, "Goodnight, Laurel."