REI

It had been a long day and I just wanted to go back to my apartment and play my guitar till my fingers bled, because I wasn't looking forward to sleeping, as usual…

But alas, I had one more class for today, my history class was in another building about a block away. I made sure to avoid Brad whenever I saw him and man was I glad when he went in the opposite direction… That happiness was short lived when I noticed someone following me. I discreetly peeked over my shoulder and groaned aloud when I saw March's little friend behind me with the largest grin I ever saw…

I picked up my speed and literally ran to my history course. When I got there, a moderate number of students had already arrived. Keeping my head down, I made my way towards the corner seats of the room. Once in my seat, I set my bag down in front of me and used it as a pillow, closing my eyes and breathing out slowly. I just needed to get through this class and then I could run back to the apartment and be by myself…

"Fancy seeing you here… Rei, was it?"

… Son of a bitch, he's in my freaking class… I opened my eyes and jumped when I found a pair of brown eyes literally four inches away from my faux green. The guy was so close that all he'd have to do is lean and we would have locked lips!

"What the hell man?!" I snapped moodily, running a hand through my messy white locks, "Ever hear of personal space?!"

"Haha, moody much, Rei? Damn, you sound just like March now." the kid laughed. He was already annoying the crap out of me. Why is he so happy?

I let out an exasperated sigh, trying to get this brat to realize that I didn't want to talk to him, "Just go the hell away and leave me alone…"

"But I just wanted to introduce myself since you already met March! I'm Ken, the RA for the boy's dorm!"

Ken thrust his hand in front of me, probably hoping I would shake his hand, but all he was met with was my icy glare. Ken's smile turned nervous and he put both hands in the air in defeat, settling down in the chair right next to me. Of all places… he settles right next to me! I wonder if he realizes how much I want to maim him right now! I didn't have much time to ring Ken's neck though, because the moment I went to reach out, the professor came in and the class started.

Ken didn't bother me for the rest of the class, minus a few times when he rubbed our legs together or his hand would suddenly land on my thigh, very high up on my thigh mind you, and I would jump and then claw at his hand, which would cause him to chuckle. By the time class ended, I was grabbing my things and high tailing my ass out of the room and as far away from Ken as I could. I can't deal with this harassment anymore!

I was happy to be out of class for the rest of the day and I was ready to go back to my apartment, but of course, I just had to hit another road block.

Just as I was making my way off campus, I heard my name being trilled and before I knew it, a girl with strawberry blonde hair and a body that looked a little too malnourished to me stopped me from walking by straying on my path. I had a foot on her and I stopped to stare down at her while she looked up at me with hopeful and bright green eyes, a little lighter than my own. I wonder if her eye color is real?

"So Rei, my name is Mandy." She greeted me, a light blush was spreading across her cheeks. I remained quiet for a while, assessing the situation in my head. I could hear giggling a little way behind me and Mandy kept glancing in that direction so her friends were definitely watching… This Mandy chick was probably going to ask me out and then I'd probably get slapped for saying something asshole-ish like I do to everyone…

"I'm going to get right to the point, do you have a girlfriend?"

I blinked in surprise… well damn… "… No I don't…"

"Getting over breaking up with one?" Mandy raised a delicate eyebrow.

My frown deepened, did she think that I would be an easier conquer if I was mourning over a recent break-up? "I never had one to begin with."

A hopeful note entered her voice, "Really? You've never had an ex?"

"No." I deadpanned. My expression was most likely dark and menacing as I waited for Mandy to continue.

"Oh… well… what are you looking for in a gal? Anyone you see on campus catch your eye yet?" Mandy played with the edge of her skirt and looked up at me through her eyelashes.

How pathetic… I ground my teeth trying to keep my temper in check as I responded in a very icy tone, "I like my guys to have muscle, but not overly so… I have my limits. I mean, it's great if they can manhandle me but I want to be able to defend myself if anything goes wrong. I like it when they have hair long enough for me to run my fingers through. He should be respectful and he should be walking down a well respected path as well… handsome of course… but the best thing, he better have a pretty big cock… because on those special hot nights, I want to scream as he pounds into me and gives it to me good… from both ends… and the bigger, the better…" I ended with a sick smirk.

Mandy gawked at me in surprise and utter disgust, "D-Did you just… did you just say 'guys'?!"

My icy stare suddenly turned into a vicious glare when she finally realized that I was gay and uninterested, "Yes I said 'guys'. Are you deaf?" I went to push her out of my way so that I could get back to making my way home, but the stubborn brat side-stepped into my path once again.

"B-But you… there is no way… someone as hot as you can be gay! That just isn't fair!" She stammered, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment or anger or even both for all I knew.

I rolled my faux green eyes at her and lifted my hand to push my glasses up, "Life isn't fair princess. There are plenty of other straight guys on campus that you can drop your panties for, you freaking bimbo! So leave me the fuck alone… and go ahead and spread the word that I'm a cold, heartless, gay bitch. See if I give a fuck."

Mandy was struck dumb by my outburst and in her moment of hesitation, I stormed away. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why all these people just kept trying to interact with me! Why couldn't they just stay away from me? I'm pretty sure that I'm not that happy looking… Maybe I'm just not cold enough… whatever it is, I just wish they would keep their distance… I don't need anyone interfering in my life. I don't need anyone close to me. There was no point in having people close to me anyway… they only end up leaving me alone…

The trip up to my apartment room was uneventful… just waving hi to Tabby as I walked past her opened door and promising to stop by in a little bit. In the back of my mind, I argued with myself over whether it would be a good idea to entertain Tabby after the day I had. I wouldn't want to end up snapping at her by accident or taint her happy mood with my pissed aura… but then again, Tabby's happiness and smile are kind of contagious… maybe it will do me some good? I sighed as I pulled my keys out of my pocket and unlocked my door… I just need to stop thinking and rest for a bit, and what better place to do that than home sweet ho—

"Welcome back Rei!" Dear God what the fucking hell?! Kane and Dustin's secretary, Mindy, suddenly yanked the door open and literally screamed in my face, a crazed, obsessed smile pasted onto her face.

"Holy flying fucking shit!" I shouted in surprise and, tripping over my own feet in said surprise, I fell onto my butt on the ground. I stared up at the small woman before me. Her long brown hair was styled into a bun and her doe eyes peered at me over her pink rimmed glasses. Her usual attire was in place: navy blue form-fitted dress jacket and skirt pressed and ironed free of wrinkles, white undershirt neatly tucked and her black heels free of scuffs.

"Mindy! What have we told you about surprising the poor kid?!" Dustin's voice echoed from inside the apartment followed by Kane's laughter.

Mindy giggled and with amazing speed and strength, she grabbed my arms, lifted me up, and pulled me into the apartment. I don't understand how this girl had this much strength and energy… I'm a freaking five foot eight male and weighing over 200 pounds and Mindy is four foot ten and most likely weighs waaaaaay less than I do… I swear she's a monster!

I left her to lock my door as I walked over to the living room where Dustin and Kane were sitting on the couch, "What are you guys doing here?" I asked, setting my bag down, "It's pretty late."

"We wanted to check up on you." Kane answered with a sickeningly sweet smile.

That smile caused me to scowl as I read between the lines, "You wanted to make sure I didn't have a mental breakdown, didn't you?"

Dustin smirked, "There's that too."

"Hmph… I can assure you I'm still breathing…" I left them in favor of raiding my kitchen for a snack and something to drink.

"So, how was your first day, Rei?" Mindy asked me, wrapping her arms around my neck and literally hanging off of me.

I grunted in annoyance. It wasn't that she was heavy, I could handle her weight; as I said before Mindy is very light and I probably lifted weights heavier than her. It was just a bother with her touching me in the first place… I don't like touching...

"Comme çi comme ça." I blandly comment as I settle for a pack of crackers and a cup of water. Tabby will probably stuff me full of her cooking when I go to visit her anyway.

Mindy moaned softly and her grip on me tightened, "Hearing you speak in another language is so hot…"

"Uhg!" I exclaimed and finally made the overly clingy brunette untangle herself from my body, "Mindy I'm freaking gay!"

"Yeah, so?" she asked.

"So can't you go obsess over a straight guy?!" I snapped, "And I'm also 20 years old and you're what, 35?"

Mindy gasped in mock offense, "How rude of you! I'm only 32! And age is but a number." she smiled wickedly, "Plus, you, my sweet, are way too hot to not fawn over."

"If you are done torturing the poor kid, Mindy, can you please bring me the color pallet from your purse?" Kane's voice billowed to get both our attention from the kitchen.

Mindy winked at me before skipping over to wherever it is that she left her purse. When her back was turned, I couldn't help but smirk at the quirky woman. She had her ways, but I knew that the moment I needed help, she would be right behind Dustin and Kane. She was reliable, no matter how damn annoying she was. I shook my head and went to join everyone in the living room. I assumed that the color pallet was probably so that, after I choose a color, Mindy could book a painting company to take care of these hospital-like walls while I was in class.

"Once you choose a color, we'll set up a date and let you know when they can come. We'll work around your schedule as well if you want to be here to supervise the painting job." Dustin informed me.

I nodded once, "I think I'll want to be here, actually. I wouldn't want them to do a bad job or break anything… you guys are way too busy to supervise something so small so it's more convenient for you if I do it anyway…" Mindy handed me the pallet and I thank her quietly. While I was sifting through the colors, from habit, I instantly cut Kane and Dustin off from saying their next complaint after they heard me out, knowing what they were going to suggest, "And no, I don't commend sending Mindy to supervise in your place. I know she's a secretary, but she has her own work to attend to. I'll be fine; I'm not that hopeless and I promise to treat the nice burly men with respect. Maybe you can book it for a weekend."

Everyone chuckled softly at my declaration and simply waited for me to make a decision. Almost unconsciously, I sifted through the pallet until I made it to the blues, where I automatically chose a color close to sky blue. I showed my choice to my bosses and their secretary and after registering the out-of-character color I just chose, they all glanced at me in confusion.

"You know… I sort of thought you would go for green…" Mindy mused, "Didn't you tell me once that green was your favorite color?"

I shrugged, "Yeah… it is."

Dustin frowned, "Not that I don't approve… I mean, it is your decision nonetheless… but…"

Kane finished, "Why did you pick blue? Don't get me wrong, I like the color, but you're really not a blue kinda guy from what I saw…"

A small smile broke out on my face as I took a breath, "Yeah, you're right. I'm not really a blue kinda guy… but I remember when I was really young… Kai had told me that he had loved the color blue… and not just any blue, he liked sky blue… because it had this calming affect on him… and whenever he was angry or confused or stressed, he would look up at the sky and he would instantly be okay…"

And I wanna be okay too…

MARCH

With nothing left to do, I decided to go back to my dorm after picking up some food from the student dining hall. Ken had English and History so I knew he would be occupied for a good two or three hours. It gave me the time to sit down and actually draw out some thumbnails for my album photo assignment.

When I looked back at the songs that I had submitted, I noticed that most of them dealt with being lost or finding my way… so I figured I could have something simple… now… what exactly would 'something simple' be? I tried to think about what a cool album cover would be but nothing was coming to mind.

The brainstorming process wasn't working out that well, so I decided that I would look at some references. My laptop was on my bed so I removed myself from my desk in order to plop down on the mattress. I quickly unlocked my computer screen and pulled up the search engine, typing in the first thing I could think of…

'Amaryllis Kane and Dustin'

Those two are the ones funding this college after all. They were great musicians in the past. Who better to look up? Multiple pictures of the two men popped up and I sifted through them. The albums were all interesting. Some were elaborate and some were simple. I was just about to close my laptop and get back to work with some new ideas swimming in my brain when a picture captured my attention.

Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a slightly blurred picture of Kane and Dustin… and in between them was a teenager with messy white hair and striking green eyes. My own eyes widened. It was Rei! What the hell? How did he get to meet Kane and Dustin? I immediately clicked on the visit page tab to see if I could figure out where the image came from, but when I did, I was brought to blocked page. No matter what I tried, it continued to turn me away. So I searched up Rei's name to see what would happen… I sure as hell wasn't prepared for what I saw.

The links offered to me clearly stated things like, 'Kidnapped Boy Recovered' or 'Search for Kidnapped Boy".

Hesitantly, I clicked on one of the links and it took me to a popular current events website. The newspaper article popped up and I began to read…

"This morning, 11 year old Rei was retrieved from his kidnappers in critical condition. He was malnourished and his back was cut with what looks to be a knife. The police found him chained in a windowless room with the kidnappers who were in possession of the knife. Also found in the backyard shed is the body of missing nine year old Toby. It is revealed that the other missing children from earlier were found dead and buried in the backyard along with the kidnappers's two sons. The kidnappers were taken into custody and Rei was taken to the hospital.

The sole survivor of the kidnapping fiends is now in the ICU and seems to be in the process of recover. Police were baffled by the state they found the boy in but all agree that they are happy he was rescued. The head detective of the case states, "This kid has a lot of strength in that little body of his. I'm glad he's alive, but there is a part of me that hopes this doesn't take a turn for the worst… hopefully he'll make it through fine… but trauma is going to be a bitch."

Rei's parents refused to speak to reporters."

There was a black and white photo of the 11 year old Rei lying on a stretcher. I almost didn't recognize him because he obviously didn't bleach his hair at that age. He was literally only skin and bones. Under his eyes were dark half moon bags and his complexion was obviously an unhealthy pale. There was gauze wrapped around his wrists where it appeared blood was already seeming through and his back was turned away from the camera so there was no way of seeing the extent of the damage.

I was sickened by the sight and it stopped me from reading on. I had heard of this story because the whole east coast was raving about the disappearances of a number of young children, all boys with dark brown hair and all were between the ages of, I think, seven and twelve. I never would have guessed that Rei of all people was a victim of that…

"So that must be why he wears the gauze around his wrists…" I mumbled to myself.

Images of the raised scars and mutilated flesh flashed in my mind's eye and I shivered at the thought. He must have went through hell… maybe that's why he acts the way that he does. I instantly felt bad for thinking the way that I did about him. After all, he had reasons.

Damn, now I feel bad for Rei… and I still don't have any idea what I can do about my album cover! With a heavy sigh, I shut my laptop and rolled onto my back. Maybe a nap will do me some good…

"March, wake up…" I vaguely heard Ken's voice piercing through the veil of sleep that was currently wrapped around me like a blanket.

I moaned quietly and buried my face into my pillow. To hell with waking up dammit… he can go and bother someone else. I can't be his only friend like he is to me…

"March… I'm gonna do something embarrassing to you if you don't get your ass up right now. If you sleep now you won't be able to sleep tonight!"

Who the hell does he think he is? If I don't sleep tonight than that's my problem, not — wait… is that a… hand… on my ass?!

I yelped when Ken grabbed my ass and squeezed while his other hand snaked between my body and the bed to make an attempt to grab at my clothed crotch.

"Holy shit, dude! Back off!" I'm going to pretend my voice didn't crack right there.

Ken laughed and instantly pulled his grabby hands away from my body. I blushed cherry red and glared in his direction. Ken settled down on my bed and, as if he didn't just molest me, dove into a whole story about how Rei was in his history class and how Rei was so adorable to rile up. I groaned again, especially when thoughts of the newspaper article flashed behind my eyelids.

"Ken," I mumbled, "Stop for a minute…"

Immediately sensing that the joking atmosphere was gone, Ken's smile faded,"What's wrong?"

Slowly, I pulled my laptop over and opened it up so that I could pull up the article, "We need to be careful around Rei… I don't think you should mess with him too much anymore…"

The blonde was definitely confused, but before he could ask me any questions, I turned my laptop towards him so that he could read the article. Ken's eyes widened and when he finished reading, he shut my laptop.

"Damn… that's just… unbelievable…"

"Tell me about it… I feel so bad for thinking he was a brat before…"

Ken stretched his body out on my bed and looked up at me, "He's not bad… I can understand why he seemed a bit snappy now… I mean, who wouldn't be after going through something like that…? I guess it's a miracle he's still fucking standing."

I nodded my head, "Yeah… we shouldn't let on that we know anything though… who knows how he might react."

The shorter male nodded in understanding before he decided to switch the topic, "So, do you have any homework that needs to be done?"

Another groan escaped from my throat. I forgot about the album idea. I know I have, like, four days to get it done, but I don't want to wait till last minute or else I'll end up frantically trying to bullshit my work… I did enough of that at my old college. I explained the task to Ken and he started to laugh yet again. I scowled and asked what his problem was.

"That's so easy! Let's listen to your album and then I can help you figure something out!"

Ken sat down with me afterwards and we listened to my album on repeat. The whole time we sat there, we brainstormed different ideas. Within the span of three hours, it was dinner time and we had come up with ten thumbnails total. Ken was on a roll with the ideas, but we stopped after ten and chose the best three for me to elaborate on my own. Ken had his own homework to start on, but he claimed it was no trouble at all. Since he seemed to believe he could get it done in no time, I offered to take him out for dinner since he helped me with my homework.

"Le gasp!" Ken dramatically covered his mouth with one hand, "Did I hear that correctly? Did the God of Sex ask if I wished to be in his presence for dinner?!"

'God of Sex', where the fuck does he get these nicknames?! I scowled and smacked the back of his head, "Stop being dramatic or I'll take us somewhere and make you pay for the meal."

Ken pouted, "What? Why would I pay?! And stop scowling, you look scary!"

"I'm a scary person… and You can pay because you're an ass." I responded blandly as I walked over to my door to slip on my shoes.

"But I'm a sexy ass, aren't I?" Ken crooned and yet again, slapped my ass.

A disapproving frown etched it's way onto my face, "You're so unbelievable! When are you gonna stop sexually assaulting me?!" I can't believe I'm having this kind of problem with a kid.

The bold blonde waltzed out of my dorm behind me and waited for me to lock up, "I'll keep on smacking that sexy ass of yours even after you find a nice guy to settle down with."

I snorted, "You better hope he doesn't try to whip your ass for doing so. I'm not saving it if it comes to that."

We both ended up laughing as we headed to the pizzeria that we ate at for lunch. After dinner, we went back to Ken's dorm upon his request and while he finished his homework, I played on his PS3. He finished in a miraculous amount of time and I have to applaud him for working so quickly. With his homework completed, he joined me in playing a few rounds of Mortal Kombat, where I again, whipped his ass into next year. We only played for a couple of hours because we both had early morning classes tomorrow starting at eight, so when the clock struck ten, I bid Ken farewell and walked back to my dorm room. When I locked the door, I made sure to jam it with something so that a certain someone couldn't barge into my room in the morning.

Settling on my bed, I couldn't help that my mind went back to the article about Rei's kidnapping. I rolled onto my side and shivered. I wonder how he really feels after going through something like that… Is that the reason why he almost had a panic attack in the bathroom before class this morning?

I rolled onto my other side and stared at the wall. Every time I tried to shut my eyes, I kept seeing that image of Rei looking so broken as a child… and it only made me wonder what he might see when he closes his eyes at night…

I only read the article and I've got chills that prevent me from sleeping properly… so what does Rei suffer through, I wonder… does he even suffer…?

"Dammit… why am I so concerned… This is none of my business anyway and there is nothing I can do about this, even if I wanted to…" I rubbed my hands over my face and sighed, "I gotta stop being so nosy… There isn't a reason for me to be worried anyway… we aren't friends…"