Hello my fellow followers. I am back from my long ass hiatus! I am so sorry that I left you all for so long, but I was having so much cramming with graduating high school and trying to get into college (which I got accepted!). And with college, I will warn you that this hiatus could happen again, but I will try to keep up with all of you!

And with that note, I ask you to read my new story with fervor! Please Enjoy! I will try to update at least one of my stories over the weekends, I am going to try t update regularly! I love you guys for still following me and I hope I don't disappoint!

For this specific story, I ask that you read All Alone and Pull My Heartstrings first, it will help you understand this better... make it flow easier. Many thanks!


REI

When the photo shoot finally ended, Kai came over and slung his arm over my shoulder again, "Have fun Rei?"

I shrugged my shoulders, "Ehh… It really didn't faze me…"

Kai pouted, "You really didn't have fun during our photo shoot at least?"

"Mm-mm… not really." I was just pulling his legs now; I seriously did enjoy our photo shoot together.

"You didn't?!" And cue the watery eyes… the crybaby… I gotta love him…

"Aw come on bro!" I pulled my brother against my chest and ruffled his hair when he started to sniffle, "I was joking Kai! I had fun, alright?"

Kai sniffled but I felt him nod… I felt bad now, but I couldn't help but laugh at his childishness… Kai was responsible and acted like an adult around everyone else, but, whenever he was around me, I felt like I was taking care of a seven year old…

"You're such a crybaby," when he straightened up at my tease, I ran my hand through his now messy hair, trying to fix it in case our parents freaked out, "You always break down whenever you hear 'No I didn't have fun' come out of my mouth… why do you always freak?" I asked.

Another pout found its way onto Kai's face as he regarded me with those puppy dog eyes, "Well… I hate it when you end up sitting in the back like our parents make you do… I hate thinking that you feel unwanted or you just… I don't know…"

...

"Why did you lie to me?"

I looked away from him and answered, my voice hoarse, "They weren't as bad as this one."

Kai frowned and turned my face towards him, "Whether they were bad or not, you shouldn't have tried to cope with them on your own," he traced the dark circles that came to be from me not sleeping at night from my dreams, "You should have let me help you like before."

I let out a sigh and then I settled back down on my bed, "You weren't sleeping enough… I'm okay now, so you should go back to sleep… you have a lot of tests for tomorrow… Go ahead and take the lamp, I'll be fine..." I turned onto my side, my back to Kai. I knew that I wasn't going to go to sleep any time soon, but that didn't mean Kai should do the same... should I have asked to keep the lamp though?

I was surprised when I felt Kai lift my blanket in order to spoon in right behind me on my small bed. I glanced over my shoulder with a look of astonishment plastered onto my face, "What are you doing?"

He shrugged, "You said I should go to sleep... so... I'm going to sleep."

"You're going to sleep... in my bed… with me in it?!"

Kai smiled and nodded, "Yup."

I gaped at him and rolled over so that I could face him and talk, "Kai, we are two eighteen year old twin guys… you are not staying in the same bed as me."

"That's never bothered you in the past." He pouted.

"It didn't bother me before because we were kids back then! We're too old now!"

Kai frowned before wrapping his arms around me and pulling me against his chest, "Listen, I know that you aren't going to go to sleep after having a dream like that and the only way you will get some rest is if I'm in here with you… Now just shut up and go to sleep…"

I was about to protest, but instead, I yawned… I had to admit that I usually did sleep better when Kai was near me… and having his arms around me felt nice… It was almost like we were kids again… when Kai was there to help me sleep. His presence was comforting me and soon, I found myself being lulled into a deep sleep…

...

"I had to stay after for student council… I'll be home soon." Kai told me over the phone.

I adjusted my cell, holding it up to my ear by my shoulder as I emptied my books from my bag, "No problem Kai. I'll try to finish my homework… and thanks for today… you know, in class?"

"… Your writing… it was really deep and… detailed… I don't know how you go through life with that constantly haunting you…"

"It really isn't something I try to remember… I usually push it to the darkest parts of my mind."

"To be honest, it was a great write… and I'm glad you're finally trying to catch up in school."

"Well, you wanted me to try to graduate right? See you when you get home bro."

"Same to you bro…"

...

When I stepped out of the studio I saw Kai stuffing a disk into his jacket and I instantly got back to my curious ways, "What's that?"

Kai looked at me from the corner of his eyes, "What's what?"

"Don't play stupid, bro," I narrowed my eyes, "What did you shove into your pocket?"

"Nothing..."

"It isn't 'nothing'! Let me see!" I stepped closer to him and slung my guitar case behind me so that I could attempt to pick his pocket, "Let me see what it is!"

Kai jumped away with a laugh, "Stop being so nosy!"

I followed him, "You know I love being nosy! Just let me see!"

Kai broke out into a run, screaming along the way, "It isn't for you to see yet! It's a surprise!"

...

I sat down beside Kai and while all the other students settled down, I leaned closer to him slightly to ask, "Why am I here?"

Kai looked at me with a bright smile and quickly tousled my already messy white hair, "What's it look like? You're graduating!"

I narrowed my eyes, "Kai... they sent a letter saying that I couldn't graduate..."

Kai's smile broadened, "I pulled a few strings here and there..."

"You're unbelievable!" I exclaimed quietly while shaking my head. But a smile graced my lips.

"You love me." He smirked.

"Yes Kai," I gave him a genuine smile, "I love you. You're the best brother on the whole damn planet..."

...

Just like I did, Kai had quickly changed out of our graduation robes and into more casual wear. He seemed slightly annoyed, "Hey, bro, what's up?" I asked as I gently strummed my guitar.

"Uhg... they're so suffocating..." He smiled at me though, "I'd rather hang out with you instead."

I scoffed and playfully swatted the air, "I'm so boring though!"

"Do you think we'd be able to sneak away from the family and go to the park instead?"

The change in topic was a bit surprising, but I answered immediately, "Well... I could but you wouldn't."

Kai let out a groan, "I want them to leave already!" he came over to where I sat on my bed and nudged me slightly, a sign he wanted to sit, "Most of our aunts and uncles are so hypocritical..."

I moved over and allowed him to sit, "Bear through it. I'm sure the party will be ending soon."

"I don't have to go back downstairs. Mom and dad are talking and catching up... So, how does it feel to be a high school graduate?"

I scrunched my nose up, "Like I'm old... but, it does ease my stress slightly... I just need to think over my next plans... I haven't a clue what I'm going to do now... I suppose I could look into college, but there is no way I can afford anything..." I poked his head, "I didn't get a full ride scholarship like you did."

"Don't worry Rei... you can get financial aid. I'm sure there is a college out there that would accept you... Anyone would accept you with your skills."

...

"Rei, will you please pay attention? This is very important business involving your future and I would at least like you to show some sort of interest!"

I jerked at the exasperated request and forced my tired, faux green eyes to focus on the tall, fire headed male sitting in front of me. His flawless face was twisted by the expression of annoyance that came from me not offering my full attention. His light brown gaze was piercing and I couldn't stand to be under their scrutiny for long, so I averted my eyes and huffed out a quick apology.

"Come now Dustin, ease up on the kid... he's had it rough enough... and it's only been two years..." Sitting next to the red head was another man with half of his brown hair shaved off. His dark brown eyes were soft and understanding as he stood up in my defense... I didn't like that one bit...

Sitting up a little taller in my seat, I politely addressed the brunette, "Please Kane, I appreciate you standing up for me... but I refuse to let Kai's death become an excuse for me not working to the best of my abilities... I will not use my loss as an excuse for anything..." when Kane smiled and gave me an encouraging nod, I turned my attention back to Dustin, "I apologize for spacing out like I did... can you reiterate what you were explaining before?"

Dustin let out a heavy sigh but he couldn't hide the small smile of approval from me and I sighed inwardly, grateful that I hadn't angered my future boss too badly, "I was telling you about our plan to have you go to college before signing a contract with us, Rei."

I frowned slightly, "I can't afford college you guys... and what college would accept me in the first place? I barely graduated from high school... I wouldn't have if Kai –" I found myself cutting my sentence short the moment I thought about the reason why I graduated from high school...

Kane was quick to save me from sinking into the deep and dark recesses of my mind... he was good at distracting me from moping by pushing my body into work mode, "We would be funding for your tuition... It's like you would be going to college full sail and the college we are going to send you to is connected to Amaryllis Music Co., almost like a branch."

I cocked my head to the side, "Not that I don't appreciate you sending me to college, but... why am I going to college?" when both of my future bosses remained quiet, I blushed slightly, "I'm sorry if you explained this to me before..."

Dustin smirked, "I'm sure you are Rei... We're sending you to college so that you can at least grow up normally... Make some friends and start a love life... Get some knowledge and beef up your skills..."

Kane smiled brightly, "The experience will be good for you, and it would be good to have friends who are interested in continuing in the same business as you. Creating ties and bonds is a great way to get you recognized in the music business."

I nodded and then I frowned, "But I won't feel like I got in on my own... It's just another pull on strings getting me in, not my own work..."

"Rei, your skills are great," Kane waved a hand in the air, "You would have gotten into this college no matter what."

I scowled slightly, "Stop trying to make me feel better. It makes no difference that the only reason I can get into this school is because Kai got in touch with you..."

It was Dustin's turn again, "Rei, stop degrading yourself." He said firmly. The red head stood up and walked over to where I was sitting to look down at me, "If you seriously think that you don't deserve to be here then I think you should have stayed with your parents and rotted away in that house!"

That angered me and I shot up from my chair to battle it out with Dustin full force, "There is no way I would ever go back to that house! And don't get me wrong, I may think that it wasn't just my skills that got me here, but I won't hesitate to use them now to fire me up!"

Dustin leered at me, "Oh, so now you want to step up?"

"I was never planning to step down in the first place!"

The silence dragged on as our stare off continued. We were mere centimeters apart, basically nose to nose, neither of us refusing to back down. I think it would have lasted so much longer if Dustin's eyes hadn't been so close to notice the signs...

Grey eyes softened up immediately, and Dustin asked, "Have you been sleeping alright?"

I felt my eye twitch and I backed up immediately, "Yes..." I lied.

Kane stood up as well and approached me before I could run. Grabbing my face, he leaned in close to examine the dark rings under my eyes that I tried to mask with a little bit of make-up I found in my new bedroom, "Rei, don't you dare lie about something like this. Are you sleeping properly?"

I had half a mind to lie and say that I was but, they already know that I'm lying... what point was there to continue? "I'm not sleeping well. Nightmares have come back and I keep waking up, but I was like that ever since the kidnapping incident." I reasoned.

My future bosses were very uncomfortable with this problem, "Therapist!" the declared together.

"Absolutely not, it didn't work in the past, it won't work in the present, and I am sure as hell that it won't work in the future!"

Dustin scowled, "You need to talk to someone about this! It can seriously affect your work!"

I sat down and let out a low growl, "It is the reason I am creating so much music now. This is a problem that I have grown up with and I can live with it. I just need to adjust to my new sleeping patterns. Now... if you want me to go to college then I am more than willing to attend... but under one condition."

Immediately understanding that I wanted to drop the issue, Kane and Dustin nodded.

"No one knows that I am signing a contract with you after I finish. If people know that I am tied to you guys, then I would only be surrounded by people who want to use me for their own gains... I don't want to make friends with people who only want me to give them a free ride to stardom... okay? I've had enough hypocrisy in my life and without Kai by my side, I have a feeling that I won't respond well to fakes..."

Dustin nodded once more and Kane smiled, "Understandable... and agreed. College starts in two weeks and we already have an apartment picked out for you."


MARCH

The college looms before me, blocking the bright sun from touching me. The shadow of the huge development is intimidating, but I've nothing to fear. My old university had promised me that I would carry over any old credits and that I would basically be starting right where I left off before I lost Lily. My suitcase rolled behind me as I approached the building, my black military hat blocking most of my face from view. The guitar slung over my back felt like lead weighing me down as I walked through the entrance and made my way towards the main office.

"Can I help you sir?" the secretary asked me.

I lifted my head slightly and gave her a coy smile, "I'm a new transfer... March...?"

"Oh yes! I have all of your information right here! I must say young man," she pulled out a folder and handed it to me, "Your previous school had nothing but good things to say about you."

"Thank you ma'am..."

"Do you need someone to show you around campus?"

I shook my head, "No thank you... I studied the map and I was able to visit about a month ago. I'm sure I'll be able to find my way around just fine. Thank you, and have a great day." I gave her a killer smile that had the woman blushing before I left the office, my smile sliding off my face the moment the doors shut behind me.

The walk to the dorm rooms was uneventful, minus the looks I received from the few students who weren't in their dorms unpacking, and I unlocked the door and stepped in, surprised yet relieved to find that I wasn't sharing the room with anyone. The door was shut behind me and I slowly made my way over to the bed. I lifted my suitcase onto the bed and opened it up; I had to unpack now or later and I refused to do it later due to the fact that later usually meant never...

The first thing that I happened to take out was the picture frame that held a photo of me and my dear kid sister during our happier days before she was in the hospital. We were on the beach. Lily was hoisted over my shoulders, one of her hands yanking on my brown locks in order to keep her balance while the other was holding a vanilla ice cream cone to my mouth, my hands gripping her legs tightly to keep her from falling as she leaned forward slightly... We both had huge smiles on our faces and I could remember how, back then, it seemed that nothing could ever ruin our days of paradise...

A single tear fell from my brown eyes as I began to recall my Lily-bear's face... she was so young and happy... More tears slipped down my face as I thought of how unfair life had to be... It wasn't fair that Lily couldn't live out her life... It wasn't fair that I lost my only family... It wasn't fair that I lost my little sister and I could do naught about it... I remembered how weak I felt... I couldn't do a single thing to help my suffering sister... and it never made me feel any better when people kept telling me how strong I was for letting her go... I don't feel strong... I don't feel strong at all about it... In fact, I feel weak for having to run... I had to run... the moment my first semester at my old college ended I ran... I just ran... I freaking ran across the country...

"It was for my own good... and it will only bring me closer to Lily... I'm doing this to become closer to Lily..." I chanted to myself as I cleaned up my face. I continued to soothe my emotional pain as I went along with the mechanical motions of unpacking... I guess what I was saying was true... I had left my old college, where I was majoring in business, in order to come here, to major in the musical arts. Lily had always asked why I never put my music to good use... mine as well start now, right? And Lily loved my music... she loved it so much...

A knock on my dorm room door startled me from my thoughts. I went to answer the door and there stood the dorm R.A. He eyed me, taking in my appearance before meeting my eye with a small smile, "Hey, my name's Ken, I'm majoring in journalism and minoring in photography. I just wanted to greet the students in the dorm as they came around. What's your name and major?"

Ken's eyes began to wander over my body once more and as he... appreciated... my physique, I observed him. His dirty blonde hair was neatly cut and his clothes were casual... they hugged his form well... He wasn't bad looking, and I wasn't picky when it came to partners... and the look on his face just screamed, 'I'm open and willing,' but I could see how this would end, and I wasn't about to pull a one night stand on my first day on campus... That shit didn't fly right with me... No matter how lonely I am, spending one night with a stranger is not something I find appealing... The guy was practically drooling by now from such a long silence.

"... March... Majoring in musical arts, minoring in business..." I finally answered the boy, for he was definitely younger than me. I looked down at him, "Nice... to meet you..."

Ken's smile broadened and his green eyes brightened at my response, "Definitely a pleasure meeting you too." We stared at each other for a few more awkward seconds before Ken finally asked, "So... do you need help finding anything in the buildings... or would you like a tour... or maybe I could take you to a few good cafés or bars...? Anything at all I can do for you?"

I frowned, "I don't need any help at all and I'm not too fond of bars... Thanks for your offer though, it was nice meeting you."

I went to shut my door but Ken stopped me, pushing gently against the door as I went to close it, "Wait, are you sure you don't need anything?"

Oh for the love of... I hate when people try to beat around the bush... It irritates me to no end, "If you want to ask me out or something then stop trying to sugar coat it!"

Ken pursed his lips in mock consideration, "Now if I did that, would you end up saying 'yes' to my request?"

"No." I deadpanned.

Ken smirked, "Ouch. That was harsh."

I scoffed, "Maybe you shouldn't try going for someone who is..." I paused, "Wait, how old are you?"

Confusion swept over Ken's face, "... I just turned 19...?"

Oh wow, should I be flattered that an eighteen year old kid has the hots for me? "Oh, well then, like I was saying, maybe you shouldn't try going for someone who is 8 years older than you and isn't looking for any kind of relationship with a kid who probably just wants to get in my pants." I finished irritably.

"And what if I like my men older?"

"That's your issue, not mine; and you still have my issue with being a one night stand. So the answer is still a solid 'no'."

The silence between us was deafening and I knew that I should probably have apologized for being so rude but... yeah I'm not one for apologizing... It was my turn to be confused when Ken suddenly broke out into a fit of laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"March, when was the last time you got laid?!" Ken laughed, "Ease up, man, I understand completely. You aren't into one night stand kind of dates. No problem whatsoever. I admire that, at least you were the first guy who didn't just see me as an easy pick-up. Well, I don't think I would have minded if you accepted my offer though..."

... What the heck?!

Ken continued, "The truth is, I was testing you to see what kind of trouble you might cause me, and to maybe see if I had a chance if you were hot... Looks like it isn't my lucky day." He ended with a joke.

"Sorry, but, one night stands are just... I'm not a fan... too much effort for someone you aren't going to even talk to ever again... And it's a no-go with the 'friends with benefits' crap too." I frowned, "But I'm not one to go looking for trouble if you're worried."

Ken nodded, "Like I said, no worries. But, just because I can't get in your pants doesn't mean I can't try to be friends, right?"

I remained quiet, my lips tugging towards a frown... I didn't really know how a friendship with this kid would work and honestly... I don't think we had anything in common... I was slightly uncomfortable with saying 'no' though... I mean... I should at least give him a chance... I can't just go around declining everyone's offer to become friends... right?

Evidently, I found myself asking what Lily would think of this situation... What would she tell me to do right about now?

"March, don't be rude... You never know, this boy could become a good friend... Come on, life's no fun when you're alone..."

"Fine..." I found myself saying, "But I am not in the mood to be going anywhere tonight. Maybe we can hang out later. Satisfied?"

Ken smiled broadly, "Hell yeah. We can hang out later and I can show you the best places to eat and hang out and I can let you know who to watch out for too. This is my second semester as a student R.A. and I've seen my share of... alphas... you can say."

I rolled my eyes; no one was going to be messing with me... "That's great. I'm gonna go back to unpacking."

Ken waved and walked away as I shut the door. Leaning against it, I let out a sigh. I made one... friend? Yeah, a friend I guess... Just another step to recovery... just another step to banish the isolation from my life...