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Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Experience · #1084067
Join 8 teens for the adventure of their life as they spend their last summer together.
[Introduction] This is a campfire about a group of 10 teens just out of their senior year in high school. Hoping it will be the best time of their lives they try and let their true feelings out because it may be the only chance they get. NOTE: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A TEEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CAMPFIRE! :)

Here are some basic rules.

1. Keep it pg-13 and minimal cursing
2. enter your character's bio on your first entry and include the folowing

Name:
Age:
Gender:
Personality:
Apperance:
Hobbies:
Hopes and dreams:
Secret: (you have an option to reveal it now or later)
other:

3.keep it along the story line only one or two crazy twists

4. You have 3 days to add or i skip you. (srry)

5. Have fun!

Female 1: Glamgirl12
Female 2:Prettyprincess555222333
Female 3:GoldenHopeGoingtoCollege
Female 4:Jo*s back from FFA Convention


Male 1:Matt Not Here, Take a Message
Male 2: Angless has grey hair at 19
Male 3:Agent-409
Male 4:Jason Simmons
Name:Jessica

Age:18

Gender:Female

Personality:funloving girl who just loves to have fun. Very bubbly and happy all the time trying to make people smile. Although she can be quite random at times which gets on people's nerves.

Apperance: tall about 5'6 very attractive with brown curly hair that reaches her waist. She has deep blue eyes that tend to look aqua if she's outside in the sun. she loves bright colors and being different. You never know what to expect with her around.

Hobbies: she loves horses and all animals. she also loves to read and draw.

Hopes and dreams: she hopes to go to college and major to be a vet or another job that has to do with animals.

Secret: (you have an option to reveal it now or later)LATER!

other: she loves to sing but only does it in secret. She actually has a beautiful voice but always doubts it.
Name: Andrea

Age: 17 and 3/4

Gender:Female

Personality: shy and quite usually keeps to herself. will talk a lot if you really get to know her

Apperance: about 5'3 short blonde hair that falls right behind her ears. she has bright green eyes which is the only thing she really likes about herself. Her usual look is jeans and a tang top but nothing to show offy

Hobbies: she loves to cook or bake it's just one of those really weird things she does.

Hopes and dreams: she hopes to open her own chain of restraunts and get her own TV show.

Secret: (you have an option to reveal it now or later) later

other: she goes into these moods when no one can get near her without her blowing a fuse. Again another weird thing she does.
Name: Kaio Wilde (AKA Kai)

Age: 18

Gender: Male

Personality: Kaio likes to be different. He's temperamental, loves a laugh but then might fall into a hole of sullen, philosophical depression. Mostly he's a good listener and knows how to help people but he's very closed off. Feircly loyal to his friends but he's not exactly the sort of guy you just approach and he can be a complete jerk if he does not like you. Not antisocial around people he's close with, slightly over protective. Loud, likes attention, he likes to be different. Lives for his music and his guitar.

Appearence: He's a typical punk rocker sorta guy, he wears dark jeans, multiple belts, either band logo tshirts or dark coloured shirts but he loves to look good. He wont wear what makes him look formless as he likes to show off. He often wears a black jacket. His hair is naturally blond but right now he's dyed black with electric blue streaks. Last week it was blond with red tips and he might revert to that soon. He has several tattoos, a tattoo of a small scorpian at the small of his back and a raven, wings flared out across his shoulder blades. Eyeliner doned, peicings - five in his left ear, three in his right, one through his eyebrow. He's naturally quite pale and his skin is flawless though most people dont look at him long enough to notice.

Hobbies:Guitar, music..... his band in general, he's uber keen when it comes to his music because it's what brings him to life in a way. Raves....

Hopes/Dreams: Duh! Working in music! He w ants to eithers be a big band star or atleast work in t he music industry writing songs or something.... He lives and breathes music.

Secret: Later.... he's got more then one.... so here's one of them: his dad's an alcoholic and beats up on his family at times.

Other: Meepus est
Name: Angeless caraway.

Age: 19 *oldest in the class*

Gender: Male

Personality: He's mostly fun loving. Cares alot about things he's intrested in. Loves music. Plays about more than he used to. He preferes to listen to people rather than talk. When it comes to his skating he has little regard for his personal safty. If he's dared to do something he will almost always do it. While he is charismatic he doesn't like large crowds.

Appearence: Scruffy cloathing torn in the knee's from his many bails. Cute. Waist length hair tied back into a braided ponytail. Pale skin. Fit in a good way. Well toned arms. A tattoo of a pair of wings on his back that reaches to his wrists. Likes to wear short sleeved shirts but does wear a long leather coat.

Hobbies: Skatboarding. Iceskating. Tai chi. Music and guitar.

Hopes/Dreams: Pluck up the courage to ask her to go on a date with him. Dreams of being with her almost everynoght. Making it as a pro skater.

Secret: He's a drug addict. And he's in love with one of his freinds.

Other: He's been spending more time with his friends and not his actual girlfriend. Works with Kaio in the band but he's been skipping out on practice's to spend time with andrea. Not overly active in his friendships but he does what he needs to do when it needs to be done. He was the singer of the band but he went for a different role so he could remain more in the shadows.

Name: Jordan Pryce (usually goes by Jordy with friends/family)

Age: Just turned 17

Gender: Male

Personality: He likes to laugh and mess around a lot and is pretty outgoing. While at times he’s crazy, he knows when to calm down and be serious. He’s a fun loving guy who just likes to hang out with his friends and fool around. He’s smart but you would never know it. He’s a really sweet guy and pretty sensitive for the most part. Most people who don’t know him would be surprised if they actually started talking to him because a lot of people judge him at first glance.

Appearance: He has blonde hair and blue eyes. His hair is cut pretty close to his head but not super close. He probably has about an inch in the longest spot and has pretty short bangs in the front. He mostly wears dark colored, polo shirts, button down shirts or T shirts with jeans and is pretty stylish. He’s about 5’10 and trim, but not scrawny. When he feels like it, he’ll usually wear a baseball cap or a beanie if it’s cold.

Hobbies: He plays drums in Kai’s band and really enjoys it. He likes going to parties and what not with his friends. Also, he likes to draw things all the time. No one really takes him for the athletic jock sort of guy but, outside of school, he’s really into mountain biking and also likes to go skating with Angeless though he’s not as good.

Hopes and dreams: He mostly hopes that their band will make it big one day. If not, he wants to go pro with mountain biking or become an artist. But he's already decided to be an artist on the side no matter what happens. If those plans fall through, he’ll go to some college where he’ll probably become a teacher or a doctor or something- he hasn’t really decided.

Secret: The big stuff Later. But ( for a "smaller" one:) his friends don't know that his dad's in prison they just know he's out of the picture.

Other: As the youngest in the group, he tends to have the most energy at times, challenged only by some of the more outgoing girls. He’s been friends with Jessica since they were in the fifth grade when he moved into town. He lives with his Aunt (dad’s sister), who has now legally adopted him, because his mother died when he was younger and his father is currently incarcerated. His aunt is really nice and loves him a lot so he’s happy there with her.
Name: Genevieve Peyton
Age:18
Gender: Female

Personality: Cocky and arrogant, Genevieve (or Jenny, as her friends call her) loves to be the center of attention. She is caring and empathetic at heart, but can seem snobby when you first meet her. She's the high school jock-spring soccer forward and winter basketball point guard are her specialties. The boys seem to fawn over her, but she's not interested in love. She's deep and sensual on the inside, but aloof and stand-offish on the outside. She tends to have a dry sense of humor, and can be judgemental to people who aren't on her level of intelligence.

Apperance: Medium height and weight, Jenny's most noticeable traits include her hair and eyes. She has thick, curly blonde hair that is shoulder length. It's usually in a pony tail. She has deep, dark blue eyes, that become deeper as she becomes angrier or happier. She has dimples and freckles on her nose, and goes for the natural look. No makeup, jeans, sweatshirt, and sunglasses are her attire.

Hobbies: Sports, mostly. She's a basketball and soccer star, and her teamates would follow her to the end of the earth. She also has a slight fettish for books, but her friends don't know this. She loves to go out and have fun at parties-and sometimes indulges a little too much in alcohol. She loves danger and risk-she'll do anything for a good adventure.

Hopes and dreams: She hopes to continue laying basketball all the way up to the WNBA. However, if this doesn't work out (Jenny's very realistic), Genevieve is ready to fall back on her writing skills. She'll take journalism or travel writing, if she can get it.

Secret: (you have an option to reveal it now or later): Genevieve's biggest secret is her true personality. She is very rough and aloof on the outside-no one knows what's hidden underneath. She is very intelligent and philosophical. Only her dearest friends know this about her.

other: Genevieve is very loyal. She'll do anything for her friends. If they are ever in trouble or need something from her, she doesn't hesitate. It's just BECOMING her friend that is the biggest issue. She chooses friends wisely-but she loves them dearly until the end. She lives with her mother and younger sister, Sabine (2 years old). She has one pet- a golden retriever named Artemis.
Name: Ezekial Hammonds(nicknames: Zeke, Izzy, or Z.)

Age: Just turned 19

Gender: Male

Personality: Shy at first, but when you get to know him, he opens up quickly. Loves rock music and is trying to get a band together. He has a temper that is very hard to ignite. But when it does, you'll know it. He is kind to everyone and shows everyone the same amount of respect when he meets them. How they treat him determines whether his respect for them grows or falls.

Appearance: About 5' 10" with a stocky build. He has dirty blond hair that is slowly becoming brown. He has blue-gray eyes that turn into shades of green and yellow, depending on his mood.

Hobbies: Plays the bass and drums, but mostly likes to sing. Enjoys reading and writing.

Hopes and Dreams: Though he wants to be part of a rock group, his more aquirable hope is to become a police officer or criminal psychologist.

Secret: Will tell later.

Name: JoAnna "Jo" Anderson

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Personality: Jo is sorta a trouble-maker. She gets in trouble a lot, but makes sure it's not enough to get her parents called. She's mouthly and acts like she hates everyone. She really can be fun, caring, and a all-around nice, but she keeps this hidden and perfers to keep people at a distance.

Apperance: Jo is tall and slender with soft curves. Her long jet black hair extends down to the small of her back and a few loose strands are always falling in front of her piercing green eyes. She usually wears jeans and vintage shirts in mostly dark colors.

Hobbies: Jo enjoys doing anything that will keep her from going home at night. She likes going to parties, music, and she can sing very well.

Hopes and dreams: Jo just lives one day at a time. She doesn't really have plans for the future. She would like to go to college, but she currently thinks it's impossible.

Secret: (you have an option to reveal it now or later) Jo's parent's abandoned her and she currently lives on the street.

Other: Jo works wherever she can whenever she can to earn money for the things she needs. She's doing all right so far.



THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL

Monday June 12:

"Ahhh" Jessica sighed as she sat down next to her best friend Andrea in History class. "Only one more week of school and were out for good! I can't wait!"

"Only one bad thing Jess your forgeting about all the tests we take this week."

"Come on Drea why do you always look on the negative side?"

She was cut off because their History teacher Mr.Volpa walked in and started his usual last week of school speech. It always got so boring and held out that no one ended up paying any attention anyway.

After History Jessica and Andrea split up for the rest of morning classes and didn't meet up till lunch. Lunch went pretty normal, well at least at first: get food, sit with gang, talk but then in the middle of everything...
the nerdy Arnold Kettlman starts choking and everyones lauging at him because he's turning all purple and stuff.

Me Andrea personally doesn't think it's funny and wants to go help him but i get too nervous and are afraid what your friends might think.

Nobody thinks much of his hacking until he falls on the floor and the hacking stops. At this point the whole cafateria is silent and staring at the spot where Arnold is laying. "someone's got to help him" someone shouts from across the room.

Finally Andrea couldn't stand it and walks swiftly across the room puts Arnold into a sitting position and preforms the hemilic. At this point everyone was staring at her and she just wanted Arnold to start breathing again. He finally did and Andrea sped out of the room before anyone could say a single word.

His hair was spiky with the front falling over his eyes; dyed black this week, blue streaks highlighting the mussed up look that he seemed to be sporting... Kaio looked at himself in the mirror, frowing at the paleness of his face today and the pale bags beneath his eyes. He didn't want to be here. He needed a break already. Then again... He SHOULD have tried sleeping sometime in the holiday... He SHOULD have gone to bed before 4am last night... He SHOULD have turned off his music and unplugged his guitar... But he hadn't done any of those things and so as cool water dripped down his face, he knew he deserved the exhaustion that was pushing him into submission.

The door burst open behind him, two younger kids were carrying a ginger mop of limbs... What the hell? He glared as they came towards the sinks. Why w ere they disturbing him? He had left lunch to be ALONE for five goddamn minutes....

The heaving form was Arnold, a guy Kaio had teased more than once and bruised many more times than he had meant to... The kid was crying.

"What the f*** happened to you?" He asked, eyes narrowing... He admitted he was mildly curious but he kept his voice bland. Hoping to dissuade them.

"A girl just saved his life..." One of the other boy's replied in that annoying nasal voice that made Kai smirk slightly, "Poor old Arnold was chocking and -"

"Whatever, save the sob story. Have fun kiddos." He was already bored. Only chocking... nothing interesting ever happened here.... Oh well... Maybe he could gret in some music practice before lessons started up again...
Angeless spent his lunch doing what he loved. Jumping from the gym roof down into the makeshift half pipe he'd petitioned for. He was glad he'd asked a few of the media students to come give him a hand filming it all.

His friends had learnt that taking part in his stunts was not good for their health. He knew that too them he was unbreakable. He could break bones and still turn up ready to go again.

Today was backflips and grab tricks. Insame use of enviroments was his way of dealing. He could look at a burning car and think. 'geeze that would look good doing a trick over'.

"Tell me you got that! "he shouted gleafully as he brushed himself down.

He'd just landed a grab that look almost as painful as the landing.

"You realise that the objective is to land the tricks "asked the one holding the camera?

He considered it for a moment then laughed.

"Why? People would pay either way. My med records speak for themselves...especialy since I put them on the web page you guys did up for me "he laughed as he was still on camera.

He realised he hadn't eaten yet and so he grabbed a bag of crisps out of his open pack.

"Jackass...psssh. I've done better stuff when I'm stoned "he thaught to himself as he munched the contents of the bag.

He waved as he saw his friends coming over to greet him.
“Hey Angeless!” Jordy said as he, Jenny and Zeke walked over. Angeless waved.

“What’s up guys?” Angeless asked as he came over and stepped off his board, popping it up and catching it in his hand, motioning for the kids with the camera that they could shut it off. He waved bye to them as they took off to go edit.

“Just chillin’- what do you expect?” Zeke joked, “I mean it IS the last week of school.”

“And it won’t come soon enough.” Jenny sighed.

“Look at it this way…” Jordy said, placing his hand to his chin and pretending to be calculating out his words, “after this… we’re free!” He said in an exaggerated way.

“You need to take a chill pill…” Jenny said as she hit his hat over his eyes. Jordy gave her a fake angry look and fixed his hat which was just a plain navy blue hat that matched perfectly with his white polo shirt and jeans.

“Here Angeless,” Jordy said as he handed him a folded piece of paper, “Maybe you can put this on a publicity poster or something, either way, I don’t want it back.” Angeless opened it up to see a sketch of him skating; he was midway through a spin, high above the vert ramp.

“Thanks dude.” Angeless said as he folded it up and put it away, “Now what do you all say we go get something to eat?”

The four of them went into the cafeteria, where things seemed to be normal, nothing too out of the ordinary except that they couldn’t find Jessica or Andrea at their normal table, and Kaio was no where in sight, but they did meet up with Jo.

“I think we just missed a show,” Jo said as they all approached.

“Oh well… life goes on.” Jenny said with an air of uninterest to her voice.

They got some food to eat and talked and laughed a little until the bell rang, telling them it was time for 6th period. Only two more classes to go and they were that much closer to graduation. Jordy couldn’t wait. High school had been fun, but it was just dragging on now, and he’d be much happier out in the real world then here in this huge drama club.

He and Jenny set off towards 6th period where they hoped they might find Kiao who was also in that class and wished that their class wouldn’t be too much of a bore. The five of them all agreed to meet up after school as they went separate ways, hoping they might find the others somewhere in the process.
Jenny and Jordy set off in search of Kiao, dreading the boring class with their teacher, Mr. Rodrick.

"I say we ditch today," Jenny suggested, snubbing a few girls who walked by and waved. They hurried on quickly after she ignored them, and she sighed. "Don't know why they bother. In fact, I haven't even seen any of them before. They think that just because they come to a couple of soccer games..."

"...they are best friends with Queen Genevieve," Jordy joked. "Get over yourself, princess. And we're going to class. Otherwise, we'll never find Kiao."

"Never find me?" Kiao had clambered up behind his friends, who were now standing outside the doorway of their classroom. "Looks like you got unlucky. By the way, hey baby, nice swing in your backyard."

"Shut up," said Jenny haughtily.

"No, I meant Jord."

The three friends laughed with appreciation, and walked into the room, finding seats beside each other. Before class started, they talked about food and skating and music: common topics amoung their group.

"Hey look, it's Jess," Jordan suddenly pointed towards the door. Jessica was waving cutely towards the three, who all lifted their hands to respond.

"Where's Andrea?" Jenny yelled across the classroom. Other students in the class looked towards her, but she ignored their stares. "We haven't seen her all day."

"Mrs. Peyton, please refrain from shouting." Mr. Rodrick had just stood in front of the classroom. His bespeckled face looked grim against the blackboard behind him. "Haven't we had a discussion about this before?"

"Actually sir, it's usually me you have to put a tazer to," Kaio said.

The class laughed, and Jessica left the door, motioning that she would meet them outside after school.

"Bring Andrea," Jordan mouthed.

Class began, and Jordan, Kaio, and Jenny settled down to start their regular routine of note-passing, and distractive behavior.
Zeke hated sixth period. It was the only class he had that none of his friends were in. In all his other classes he had at least someone else there to keep him from losing his patience with teachers who, for some reason, seemed to like to push Zeke's buttons.

Luckily, though, his sixth period teacher, Mrs. Halls, did not bother him too much. A kind person, Mrs. Halls was not the reason he dreaded going to his Advanced Psychology class. Nor was the class itself, he loved psychology. It was some of the people in the class.

Kirk Shields was the worst of them, and it didn't help that he was Zeke's cousin. Zeke loved him, because he was his cousin, but he couldn't stand Kirk. Kirk was stuck up in every way. And today was no different.

Kirk was a year younger than Zeke, but was always trying to boss everyone around. But Zeke tried to push that out of his mind right now, trying to concentrate on the rest of the day. It would be long, especially with Kirk and co. nipping at Zeke and his friends' heels.
The last two peiods dragged by but the bell finally rang. "Time to go meet up with the gang" Jessica thought to herself. "They told me to bring Andrea but I have no idea where she is. In fact I haven't seen her since..."

Her thoughts were interupted by Jordy coming up behind her and scaring the living daylights out of her.

"Calm down I just wanted to say hi." You literally jumped ten feet."

"Shut up! I did not" I said defensivley.

"Whatever where's Andrea?" Jordan asked.

"Funny thing you should mention her but I haven't..."

Once again I was interupted, but this time it was because the rest of the gang (besides Andrea) had just met up with us in front of the school.

"Hey There you guys are" sais Kaio. "But where's Andrea?"

"As I was saying before you guys came over, I haven't seen Andrea since lunch. I thought you guys knew where she was."

"Oh brother where has she gone now? She never skips classes." said Jenny.

"All I know is when we find her she's sure to be in one of her "moods".

And with that the seven of us set out in search of where in the world could Andrea be.
"Why did I run away? They won't hate you. There your friends" Andrea kept trying to reasssure herself that her friends wouldn't be enraged at her for saving that poor kids life.

"At least I'm safe now" she thought. She was hiding out in an old tree house that her Jessica, Jo, and Jenny had built in seventh grade.

Andrea started to drift off thinking of all the good times they had in the treehouse. Laughing talking, sleepovers. All the kinds of stuff that girls do in 7th grade.

"ANDREA, ANDREA WHERE ARE YOU!!!"

"Shit! they found me!" thought Andrea. "Maybe they won't think to look up here. Who am I kidding, of course they will. Myswell face the music she thought to herself.

She stuck her head out the window and yelled "I'm up here"

He guessed it could have been worse... She could have been beaten up by one of the plebs who thought they were fantastic... Or she could have become manically depressed and slashed her wrists.... Or fallen from the school roof whislt thinking of amazing worlds far far away from this place... Kaio shook his head, trying to get the half crazed image from his head. He was not meant to think like this... He wasn't supposed to think the worst...

He sighed, forced a smile as he saw Andrea's face high above, "Where the hell have you been?!" he laughed, half joking, half not.

"Just here. Thinking."

-Hiding- he frowned and gave her the once over. She looked fine. But he knew from experiance that people who looked perfectly happy could be breaking apart inside.

"Why you up here then? You coulda just done thinking in class?" Jenny was smiling, shuffling over to stand by the other girl.

Kaio glanced down at the floor. Once this place had seemed huge. Now it really didn't... It almost as if they were too big, too consuming for the place to really function. He hated it. He hated this feeling... Like life was comig to an end... this part of his life... was so soon going to be shattered into a thousand and one memories that would eventually only be a haze in the myriad of emotions and moments he had been through.

"Kaio. Oi." Five fingers infront of his eyes, "Wake up."

He looked up, blankly, "Sorry... Just thinking."
Jordy recoiled his hand from in front of Kai’s face.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…” Jordy said shaking his head, “You know what I think? I think you people think too much.”

“Well there is a lot to think about,” Jessica said, seeming to go off into a far off stare that marked the same thought process of the others.

“Aww… whatever.” Jordy said with a smile, halfway joking. Then more seriously added, “I say we stop thinking and start… planning.”

“Planning for what?” Jenny asked. They still all sat in the cramped little tree house. Jordy, too, could remember the days of yesteryear when they had hung out there- the time when the boys had decided to take over the little fort from the girls that one summer when they were 12, the times they had run away from home and all met up in that tree, all the games they used to play, the talks they used to have and all the trouble they had plotted.

“Look,” Jordy said, “We have what… less than a week left before we’re out of high school for good right?” he asked, the others nodded, so he continued, “Well… things are going to change you know… after this summer- we’ll go our separate ways most likely, and yeah sure it’ll be sad,” he said with an understatement, “so I say we make this summer special.”

“How?” Zeke asked and, even though Jordy had brought up the subject, he didn’t really have any plans for his own suggestion so he just shrugged, hoping someone else might answer for him.

And for a second, Jordy felt like he was back in the old days of when they were younger and spent their evenings up in that tree house, just wasting the day away. And he knew it was those days he would miss.
Genevieve sat beside Andrea, looking at her every now and again, and wondering what had gotten into her. She seemed a bit far away, distant, and it was this distance between friends that Genevieve had worked hard to avoid.

"Look Jord," Jenny said, as she unconciously sat down on the floor. "Summer might almost be here, but there are things happening this week that I haven't even got planned yet."

"Oh, come on Genevieve, you have things to do?" Zeke teased. "Since when have you worried about plans?"

Jenny threw a floor pillow at him, which he caught expertly, and put under him. They were now all sitting in a circle, looking at each other and no doubt, thinking about what this tree had meant to them long ago. Genevieve, herself, could remember make-overs, water balloon fights in the summer, secrets between girls, and hostile takeover by a number of skinny, wiry boys. Everyone had changed now.

"Well," said Jessica, looking cheerful. "Prom is this weekend. Saturday. Have we all decided who's going with who this year?"

"Don't look at me," growled Kai, "I'm not going. It's not my scene."

Jessica rolled her eyes. "Of course you're going!"

"Don't worry," Jenny said to Kai. "I heard there's bitchin' parties afterwards. Matt Gregory's party to be exact...." Genevieve and Kai smiled at each other. They both knew Gregory's parties very well. Lots of alcohol and crazy high schoolers taking any dare at a beat.

"I wish you wouldn't use language like that," Andrea said softly, looking towards Genevieve.

Jenny's rough demeanor had always been softened when she was around Andrea, but momentarily she had forgotten.

"Yea, okay," was her only response.

"What about that lunch we were supposed to go get?" Jordan asked, holding a hand to his stomach. "I'm starving."

"We could eat up here," Jessica suggested. When everyone agreed she, Jordan, and Jo went to make sandwiches and get some drinks. Andrea, Jenny, Kai, Zeke, and Angeless were left in the mix.

"Well whose going with who?" Angeless said gruffly, leaning against the far back wall. "I don't want to be left out just because I haven't been saying anything."

"We could always go as one big group," suggested Andrea. She had always been shy when the group split into pairs; she didn't like the feeling of one-on-one attention.

Genevieve laughed. "Yeah right. Then when all you squares get tired, what are Kai, Zeke, Angeless going to do? We're going to be stuck going home early. I wanna party!"

"Yeah, besides Andrea," Angeless said. "We can't trust ourselves as a group. I mean, you are the only sane one."

The others returned with the food, and the group began eating and chatting, discussing their plans for the prom.

"I say we just pick out of a hat," said Jo. "It's easier that way."

Everyone agreed and shrugged their shoulders. They all ripped up pieces of paper and put in their name.

"I'll go first," said Genevieve, always happy to be the center of attention. She saw Jordan roll his eyes, and she hit him on the arm.

"Damn, girl! Just go pick a name," he laughed. Andrea shot a disapproving gaze towards him.

Genevieve reached her hand in the bag and drew out a name.

"Angeless," Genevieve said, reaching over and giving her friend a kiss on the cheek. "You better look nice," she warned. "I'm banking on prom queen this year."

"Don't worry, Jenny," Angeless said, winking at the others. "I won't mess it up for you."

Genevieve hit him on the arm and said to Zeke, Kai, and Jordy. "Don't worry boys, you can all be my dates in college."

Everyone laughed.
It was Zeke's turn to pick out of the hat. True, he was nervous, but he kept that hidden beneath his mysterious cool he always had around his friends. He was hoping to ask out either Jenny or Jessica.

Now that Jenny had picked Angeless' name out, he could only hope he picked out Jessica's. He got lucky. No sooner had he pulled out the piece of paper and looked at the name, he felt a sudden wash of relief.

Jessica's name stared back at him. He gave his signature sly grin and put the name up for everyone to see.

"Well," Jordy said." Looks like it's Jessica and ol' Zeke." He knew that Zeke had had a crush on Jessica since they were 12, but was a good enough friend not to say anything.(This is one of Zeke's secret's.)

"OK, Izzy," Jessica said. She saw him wince. Jessica was the only person who could get away with calling him Izzy."Like Jenny told Angeless, wear something nice."

"You know I will," he told her, playfully nudging her.
The next person to pick out of the hat was Andrea.

"Do I have to?" she asked pleadingly.

"YES!" The seven of us all chorused together.

"Okay!" she sighed. She reached her hand reluctantly into the hat and at first she pulled out Jo's name but she repicked.

"Jordan" she said.

"See that wasn't to bad" Jessica whispered in her ear.

Jordan just smiled knowing that Andrea got embarassed easily.

"I guess that means Kaio and Jo are going to gether." said Jenny.

It was quiet for a while but suddenly Zeke spoke. "Does any one else but me feel a little weird like.. I don't know apprehensive?"

"About what?" said Angeless not taking his eyes off the floor.

"Well I was thinking about what Jordy said and it got me thinking, this is our last summer together and what happens after. What if we never all see each other again?"

"You know what I think?" said Jenny "I think you think too much. Let's get out of here it's almost dark."

They all started down the ladder and onto the ground below.As they all sarted off toards the main road Jessica stopped and looked up at the treehouse that held so many of her childhood memories. To tell the Truth she knew what Zeke meant because she had the exact same feeling.
TUESDAY June 13:

WHERE THE HECK IS MY TERM PAPER!!!!????? MOTHER!!!!!!!!!! screamed Andrea her voice filled with rage.

"Why are you screaming!? The whole neighborhood can hear you" her mother said standing in the doorway to Andrea's bedroom.

"Because I can't find my term paper, and without it I'll fail! Andrea's voice was shaking and you could tell she was going to cry soon.

"Good thing you have a mother or you surley would be lost"

"What does that mean?" Andrea said with a hint of sarcasam in her voice.

"It means that I know where your term paper is and if you'd calm down and keep cool you might be able to find it."

"Okay so give it to me" andrea said.

"No" siad Andrea's mother flatly.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO!?" Andrea was outraged.

"I think this is a great experiance for you. You need to learn to be a little more organized and keep calm. I also know as your mother that you will most likely find it before you leave for school and if you don't well it's one of life's lessons you'll have to learn." with that Andrea's mother shut the door knowing what would come next.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Andreas screams rang through the whole house

It was official Andrea was in one of her "moods"
“Jordan!” A voice broke through to him as he lay half unconscious on his bed, “JOR-DAN!” The voice said a little louder and more pronounced. He cracked his eyes open a little bit, it was his aunt of course, but he had already known that.

“Awww…” he said as he rolled over and put his pillow over the back of his head.

“Yes, it’s time already. Get up."

“I’m going, I’m getting up, I promise.” Jordy said as he remained with his pillow over his head.

“Prove it,” His aunt said smiling a little, “You don’t look like you’re going anywhere.” She pulled his blanket off of him as she opened the blinds. “Look alive Private!” She asserted as if they were in the military. Then she smiled and left. Jordy crawled wearily out of bed.

He took a quick shower before putting on a pair of blue shorts and a white T-shirt with a brand name logo across the chest. Before leaving the room, he laced up his blue and white vans and put on a plain green baseball hat to match the little bit of green there was on the shirt. Then he went downstairs.

He popped a few pop tarts in the toaster before the doorbell rang. He answered it by just pulling the handle in a little bit, then running back to the kitchen to grab the pop tarts. When he returned to the hallway, Jessica was standing there, with the door open.

“I’m going to school!” Jordan called upstairs.

“Okay! Bye!” His aunt called back down.

“Bye!” he yelled again before leaving though the door.

“You must have more hats than anyone else I know.” Jessica said with a smile once they were on the sidewalk, headed towards the school.

“One for every possible occasion of course.” Jordy smiled back.

Jessica and Jordy had walked to school together nearly everyday since the time they were in 6th grade and they were deemed old enough to walk the distance. On days that it rained, either Jordan’s aunt or one of Jessica’s parents would drive them. Even now, though Jordan had a car and Jessica had her license, they still walked. It wasn’t far, and it kind of reminded Jordan of the good old days.

They didn’t always talk a lot on their walks but when they did it was usually just chitter chatter that kept them entertained for a few minutes.

“You should sing at graduation, Jess.” Jordy was saying, “I mean you know how they’re having student performers and stuff right…”

“Now why would I do that?” She asked. Jordan was one of the only people who ever heard her sing.

“I don’t know why you don’t like your voice.” He said, “I think it’s just lovely.” He smiled at her, trying to convince her to do it.

“No thanks. I don’t like the spotlight.” Jessica said.

“I’ll make you a deal… you sing and I’ll dance to your song.” Jordy laughed, “I’m joking- please don’t make me dance.”

“Oh but Jordy… I’m sure everyone would just love to see you in a tutu.” She said back sarcastically. They both laughed.

When they reached the school, they saw some of their friends hanging around outside in the normal spot, waving happily as they approached the group.
Kai, Jenny, and Angeless were waiting at the corner of the street for Jessica and Jordan, who were both late: as usual.

"Ten bucks he hasn't even rolled out of bed yet," said Angeless, who was popping his skateboard into his hand.

"I'll take that bet," Jenny answered as she waved to her two friends walking up the street.

"Hey guys," Jessica said. "Looks like we're just missing three of us."

"Don't count on them," Kai responded. "I heard Andrea had one of her fits, Jo had to come in early, and well, Zeke is just too lazy to get up..."

Everyone laughed as they started walking towards the school. They began talking about prom plans-limos, dinner, afterparties until they reached the front doors of their good old high school.

As they entered, they split off into their normal class-walking groups. Kai, Jessica, and Jenny headed off down the hallway, Angeless and Jordan in another.

Jenny, Kai, and Jessica walked at a quick pace, hoping to get through the crowd to their first class-maybe once without any mishaps. As they passed a group of people, however, someone grabbed Jenny's arm.

"Hey, babe, what's up?" It was Trevor Lewis, the quaterback for the football team, and the boy who Jenny, Jessica, Jo, and Andrea used to drool over in middle school.

"If you haven't noticed, doughboy, I'm walking to class," Jenny said, wiggling free of his grasp. "And if you ever call me babe again, I'll see to it that you find something nasty in your football cleats."

Trevor's group of friends laughed, and Kai and Jessica gave each other amused looks. They loved it when Jenny acted pretentious.

"Sorry, Jen. Come on now, don't be that way," Trevor said.

Jenny stopped in her tracks as Jessica and Kai did the same. There was no way they were going to miss this show.

"All right, then. What did you want to say?"

"I wanted to say," he looked at Jenny's two friends who seemed unable to keep smiles off their faces. "Uh, well. First, I wanted to apologize for making fun of your friend, whatshisname, uh..."

"Ezekial," Jenny said, putting her hands on her hips. "And if you ask me, that's a shitty apology. I don't think I'll be attending your party on Saturday night after all..."

Jessica let out a loud giggle, which made poor Trevor even more baffled.

"Well, see that's the second thing. I wanted to know if you had a prom date already."

"Well, it's sweet of you to ask," Jenny said, making her voice a little softer. "But, I've already got a date." And she took Kai and Jessica's arms as if to steer them away from such an embarrasing display.

"But," Jenny called over her shoulder to the boy, "You get my friend's name right next time, and I'll rethink that party situation."

She, Jessica, and Kai hurried off-Kai and Jessica laughing as Jenny hovered, embarassed, in the middle of them.

"It's really not that funny," she exclaimed, putting her hands to her cheeks.

"Oh my god, take a picture!" Kai laughed. "She's embarrased."

Instead of hitting him or throwing an insult back, Jenny just looked up into Kai's face. His smile was wiped off instantly.

"Jesus, Jenny, what's the matter with you?" he said, feeling uncomfortable.

"Nothing...," said Genevieve, as she turned her face away. "It's just..well, I think I really hurt him."

And for what seemed like ages, Jessica and Kai were quiet. They had just seen something that shook their whole world. For a couple of seconds, Genevieve Peyton had put her pride away.

*****************************
Truthfully, though, she was her old self by the end of the period. In a matter of thirty minutes she had managed to make the teacher stutter, given a girl the nickname "Slutty Susan", and even managed to offend a group of geeks when she asked them loudly, "I don't think calculators are quite foolproof, do you?"

Kai put his arm around her and Jessica's shoulders as the three friends walked out.

"I've missed you girls," he said, smiling. "What say we find the rest of the group and skip second period today?"

Jessica shook him off.

"If you're going to skip (which will be without me, thank you very much), you might as well go wake up Zeke. Even if school doesn't seem important enough to wake up for, he needs to be up for afterwards."

"Why?" Kai asked gruffly.

"We have things to plan," and with that she walked away, carrying her books on her hip.

Kai turned back to Jenny. "What do you say, Genevieve?" he asked.

Jenny shrugged. "I say, let's go cause some terror."

The two friends smiled at each other.

Little did everyone know why Zeke had truly skipped out on school that day. All of his teachers knew, and the administrative staff. Zeke had taken the day off to get a tux.

He had driven to Jessica's house to ask her parent's what color her dress was, politely declining to see it. He wanted to be surprised. He also wanted very badly to impress Jess.

He found out it was red. So he went to the best place to rent a tux in town, PROMS AND WEDDINGS. As he walked through the store, he had to massage the right side of his face where his scar was.

His scar ran from the end of his right eye to just below his cheekbone. It was the scar that Trevor had made fun of. If only Trevor knew how Zeke had gotten that scar, he wouldn't have tried to ridicule Zeke.

But Zeke had other things in mind than dwelling on that painful memory. He quickly went back to searching for a tux.

After finding the perfect one, a black & white suit with a velvet crimson bow, Zeke paid for it and left the shop. He decided it was best to drop off the tux at home and go to school.

**********************************

Kai and Jenny were just about to leave the school to get Zeke when he pulled up. He got out of his Grand Am and walked brisquely to meet them.

"Where's everyone else?" he asked.

"We don't know where Jo's at, but everyone else is at Angeless' ramp," Kai said.

"Well, what are waiting for?" Zeke smiled. "Let's go join 'em."
The three of them headed over to the ramp where a group of people had gathered. Kai,Jenny, and Zeke went over and stood with the rest of the gang.

Angeless was doing his warmup before attempting some new moves he'd been working on. The crowd was slowly becominging denser as they all waited for the show to start.

[Note:Before I write about the moves forgive me if I make any mistakes because I'm not good with skatboarding and the terms used :)]

Angeless made his way up to the high ramp and started to do some jumps and rail grindings. He did some more moves while the crowd roared their approval.

Angeless went once more back to the top of the ramp and started down. He went of the other end did two turns and a kick flip (I warned you I was horrible at this lol)Right before the landing Angeless lost his balance and landed hard on his left arm.

AHHHHHH! Angeless was screaming

You could tell this was not part of the show.


"Angeless!" cried Jenny and Jessica at once. Kai, Jess, Jenny, and Zeke all raced forward to see how badly injured he was.

"Go get help!" Kai cried to the other four and they ran off back to the school.

"Are you okay?" Jenny asked leaning over Angeless to try and lift him off his arm.

"I think it's broken, but it's no big deal" said Angeless half heartidly. "Please don't make a big deal out of this, I don't want to look like a woss."

"We won't make a big deal out of this if you cooperate. You'll probably have to go to the hospital" said Jessica.

Before he had to time to argue back the other four came running down from the school followed by the nurse, the principle, and some teachers.

"Oh great" thought Angeless. "Exactly what I wanted a big scene.
Taste it as though it were yesterday.
Because tomorrow it may not exist.


For no reason those words lingered in Kaio’s head as Angeless breathed heavily beside him, waiting for the ambulance to take him away.

The laughter of ghosts will wash away with the rainfall.

A tune vibrated in his mind, he could already hear it lulling across guitar strings, thrumming on a dropped-d chord that despite the bustle of those around him seemed to block out the rest of the world. Vibrations in the air translated into blurred words and absently he realised that someone was talking to him.

Shiver amongst the crowds of heated people.
And they will rise again in flame.


Faintly the stench of cigarette smoke and alcohol and a strange air of anxiety met him, drowning him in the reality that was Jen and Angeless and Jess.

Cling. Grasp onto whatever your fingers touch.
Drown. Hold on tighter next time.


“I guess we need to go…” Jen was saying as what looked to be an ambulance crew drew closer. Kaio flinched, recognising one of them from a more recent visit to the hospital. He wouldn’t forget that trip for a long time, he understood that, of course he did… but for that face to be here… He felt his skin flush in a bitter shame.

“You gonna be alright Angel?” someone said, Kaio thought it must have been Jess… He couldn’t pay attention.

Head down, eyes averted, don’t draw attention…

“Yeah,” Their skater friend didn’t sound as certain as usual but still flashed them his normal confident smile, “Yeah, I’ll see you all later.”

Kaio was the first to turn and leave. He couldn’t stand the eyes that w ere boring into his back. Hated the knowing stare crawling over his back. He guessed he had better put himself back in the real world, after all they had a prom to prepare for, plans to put into action. He tried to smile as Jessica caught his eyes. But it fell like glass, shattered across the floor and he prayed she wouldn’t notice it too much… He crossed his fingers, hoping that the barbarous dust wouldn’t infect her too…
"I like you when you have your hair down. Makes you look cute Jenny "he sighed dimly as the morphene eased the pain.

"....Huh? "she asked him as he held her hand in his right.

"I think I will take you up on that offer of helping you get a prom dress...Atleast we can tell each other if we look good. "he chuckled.

He looked about and then checked the time.

"I wonder if they got it on camera....splat goes the skater....make it into a blog "laughed Jenny.

He looked at her and for no aparent reason said aloud.

"I love you sometimes "then seemed to doze off.

Leaving Jenny kind of in a shocked silence.

"He probably wouldn't even remember...but he said he loved me....this just got complicated " thaught Jenny.
Jordy was walking down the hallway of the hospital when he turned the corner and was surprised to see Jenny coming the other way. She seemed a bit out of it, confused or shaken up or something- Jordy didn’t quite know. But whatever it was that had Jenny dazed, he hoped it would distract her enough not to realize the slightly depressed attitude he was carrying along at this moment.

“Hey Jenny.” He said, hoping not to sound too surprised to see her there.

“Hey Jordan!” She said, as if suddenly snapping out of her little trance. “He’s just down the hall if you’re looking.”

“Oh…” Jordy said, not so sure who she was talking about. He had missed the last part of school and could only guess one of their friends was in the hospital now for some reason, “Is he okay?” Jordy asked, trying to pretend like he knew what was going on.

“He’s fine, just a broken arm, but he’s doped up on morphine or something right now so… he’s a bit out of it.” Jenny said smiling, Jordy returned the grin. “Anyways, he’s asleep now so… what do you say we go get something to eat- I’m starved.”

“Yeah sure.” Jordy smiled, “But I hear the cafeteria food isn’t that great.” He joked.

“But it’s right here so we might as well.” Jenny said.

They made their way down to the cafeteria area and gotten into the self serve cafeteria style lunch line. Jenny grabbed a tray and started to grab some food but Jordy just kind of followed her into the line.

“Aren’t you hungry?” She asked.

“Nah…” Jordy said, “I don’t have much of an appetite right now.”

“Attention everyone!” Jenny announced in a loud voice, “Jordan Pryce is not hungry! Everyone should proceed to move to the exits and find a safe place underground- this could be the beginning stages of the apocalypse!” Of course she had to take the moment.

“Ha… ha…” Jordy said so only Jenny could hear him, then announced to everyone, “Sorry guys! I’ll get her back to her room soon!”

“Oh thanks.” Jenny said sarcastically as she slapped his arm. “Now they think I’m a mental patient.” Jordan smiled as they sat down. He and Jenny were just talking about random stuff when a woman who appeared to be a nurse approached their table.

“Excuse me, but, I couldn’t help overhearing your friend here,” The lady said, talking mostly to Jordy, “But did I hear the name Jordan Pryce?”

“Yes, that’s me.” Jordy smiled. The woman looked at him.
“Jordy?” She asked, and he nodded his head yes and kept smiling, “Oh is you! My… my, well it’s me- Nurse Goldie!” She said happily.

“Nurse Goldie? Oh wow! Hi!” Jordy said, standing up to give her a hug.

“Oh, would you just look how you’ve grown?” She asked him putting her hands on his shoulders, “It seems like just yesterday you were this big.” She said showing with her hand a very short height. “I’m so happy to see you but… is everything okay?”

“Oh yeah, things are great!” Jordy said, hoping it was true, “Just a friend with a broken arm, I was going to visit him but then Jenny here got hungry.” He joked, “This is Jenny by the way. Jenny, Nurse Goldie.” He introduced the two. They said their hello’s but then Nurse Goldie was back to asking Jordan questions.

“And your aunt? How is she?”

“She’s doing wonderful, and she’s legally adopted me now so it’s finally official.” He smiled.

“Well that’s magnificent!” she said, “Well Jordy, I must be getting back to work now, just had to come by to see if it was really you.”

”It was so great to see you again.” Jordy said.

“You should come visit me more often.” She hinted with a smile, and then they said their good byes and she was gone.

“What was that all about?” Jenny asked, finishing up her food.

“Just an old family friend.” Jordy said, partly telling the truth, just not all of it. But he didn’t want Jenny or anyone to know why he had really known her or even why he had happened to be at the hospital today. It just turned out that Angeless had been hurt at the same time, but really that wasn’t what had taken him down there. It was just one of his secrets he wasn’t quite ready to share, but knew it would probably come out sooner or later whether it was to his liking or not.

“Anyways… what do you want to do next?” Jenny asked.

“Why do you ask me?” Jordan returned the question with a question.

“Um, I rode the bus here so, you’re driving me now.” Jenny said as she stood up, pushing Jordan’s hat over his eyes. He stood up and fixed his had, fingering the keys in his pocket.

“I think we should go hang out at your house- call everybody.” Jordy said smiling again as they made their way to the car.
Jenny sat in the passenger seat of the car, wondering where everyone's day had gone wrong. It seemed as if only moments ago they were in school-having fun, laughing, and now here they were-watching Angeless with a broken arm (which, she had to admit wasn't that big of a deal-I mean come on, he'd broken a lot of bones!), and two of her other good friends acting strangely.

"Did you see Kai today?" Genevieve asked nonchalantly, as she and Jordan pulled into her driveway.

"Nah," Jordy replied. "Um, wait, yeah. Only for a minute though. Said he had some stuff to do, then he'd be in to see Angeless."

Jenny had noticed that Kai had panicked back when the ambulence had come. Not in the normal, I'm-afraid-of-blood panic. Almost a psychological panic. She wondered what had twisted his mind so much.

"Well, anyway, Andrea's on her way over. So is Jo. Jessica's at the hospital, now, with Angeless, and um...let's see that leaves Zeke and Kai to call, right?" Jenny ticked the names off her fingers. She hoped that her fridge was full of food. There were too many young boys that came and went out of her house. Her mother once claimed that she fed the entire neighborhood. She was close.

Jordan nodded as he walked directly into Jen's house.

"Why, hello there Jordan," Genevieve's mother crooned as Jordan rounded a hallway corner into the living room. Genevieve's mother was watching her soap operas as usual, and Jenny's little sister, Sabine was playing on the floor around the couch.

"Hey Mrs. P," Jordan called, heading directly for the stairs. Genevieve was on the phone in the front hallway, calling the rest of her friends over.

"Is the rest of the gang coming over?" Mrs. Peyton asked, as Jordan walked up the stairs.

"I think so!" he called down. Everyone liked Mrs. P, but she couldn't be bothered when the soaps were on.

*************************

Everyone besides Angeless was now huddled in the upstairs den, hovering around a television turned on mute, and a plate of carrots, cookies, and three bags of chips. They had raided the pantry.

"At least he's all right..." Andrea said, getting teary. She had been surprised to hear about the accident, and a little shaken. Jenny put an arm around her.

"Look, Drea, it's not anything serious! Come on, Angel's made of some pretty mean stuff. He can handle one broken bone for god's sakes."

Although Andrea didn't really look any better, the group continued to discuss things.

"Looks like you won't be going to prom," Zeke teased Jenny. "I mean, we all know you won't be seen with someone who's wearing *fake gasp* a cast!"

"Ha.....ha. For your information, Angeless is a "badass skater boy". And badass skater boys always look hot with injuries," Genevieve responded.

"Well, glad he could get hurt around your schedule," Jessica yelled indignantly.

Genevieve laughed, "Come on Jess, it was just a joke!"

"Yes, well, I still think we should get him a present or something."

"If we got every idiot in this group who gets hurt a present, we might as well buy the mall," Jenny said.

"She's right," Jordy said. "As much as I love our buddy Angeless...we're not getting him any present."

Kai sat quietly, looking out the window.
Genevieve glanced in his direction every now and again.
He caught her eyes once, but looked quickly away.
*********************

"What the hell's the matter with you?" Genevieve caught Kai's arm as the whole group filed out of the den. They were talking and laughing, discussing that they may be able to get out of school the next day just to see Angeless.

"Nothing," Kai said in a gruff manner, pulling his arm away violently. But Genevieve wouldn't move out of the doorway.

"If you're going to act like this all week, you at least need to hide it better," she said, with an angry, proud sort of air. "Because, you're only getting yourself more attention by acting like a sulky idiot."

Kai's face was contorted in a manner of disgust and anger. This is what Genevieve wanted. Hopefully, her friend would have an outburst. But before he could open his mouth, his face calmed down.

"I know what you're trying to do," he said, suddenly a bit more cheerful. "I know you Jen. Don't think I don't."

And with that, he put two hands on her shoulders and moved her gently away from the doorway.

"Next time you try and help someone out, Genevieve," Kai said, suprisingly using her full name, "Why don't you try and be nice about it."

He walked away, joining the throng of other friends.
*************************

::Wednesday::June 14

It was the next morning, and the group of friends had all met up earlier than usual. They had decided to go to the hospital in the morning, before school, to see if maybe Angeless was ready to be sprung. It was still a bit dark outside, and even though almost summer, it was still a little chilly. They were all wearing sweatshirts or jackets.

"I can't believe you got me up this early," Zeke grumbled, when they had reached the hospital, "All over a stupid broken arm."

Genevieve had to agree. But she didn't say anything. She wanted to see Angeless again, only if to convince him that his friends cared about him.

Jessica, obviously, had this in mind too, "Well, I think it's nice that we're coming to see him. He needs support."

Kai and Jenny smiled at each other, mouthing "support." Sometimes their friends' righteousness cracked them up.

Jo, who had been quiet for awhile said, "I just hope he appreciates it as much as we expect him to."

Angeless was awake, and a big grin spread across his face as his friends walked in.

"Hey guys! Didn't think I'd see ya this early," he said, glancing at each of the individually.

"Yeah, well, if we had our choice, we'd have been sleeping right now," Jordan said, sitting down on Angeless's bed.

"Actually, me too," Angeless responded as he held up a sling. "No cast, just a sling," he laughed, looking at his friends. "And a bottle of pills."

"That's the best part," Jenny teased, "Don't take 'em all in one day."

"Don't worry," Angeless responded, smiling at her, "I'll at least save some for prom."

"Ha...ha," Jenny said sarcastically, "Your wit never ceases to amaze me."

"When do you get out?" Jessica asked.

"Right now," said a nurse coming up behind them. It was the same nurse who had greeted Jordan the other day. "Would you please take this troublemaker off our hands?" she teased the group.

"Oh you know I'm your favorite patient," Angeless responded. And the nurse just laughed.



Zeke also laughed, but a little less enthusiastically. He had carried a ominous feeling since the accident. Because unlike the rest of the group, Zeke had investigated afterward. What he saw made him furious.

Angeless' skates had been rigged. He saw that the connecting screws were missing, and nowhere to be found. He did not voice these concerns with the others, not even Jordy or Jessica. But he knew he'd have to tell someone soon.

It didn't take very long, either. Once they left the hospital, everyone split up. Jessica's idea. She had said that the prom couples needed to discuss their plans with each other. Zeke knew better. She had seen his concern and wanted to get him alone.

When they were out of eyesight and earshot of the others, she stopped in front of him, a stern look on her face.

"OK, Izzy, what's going on?" she demanded.

"First off, don't call me Izzy," he replied, grumpily. Then he noticed her draw back, her eyes growing wet. He had hurt her. Zeke quickly changed his attitude.

"I'm sorry, Jessica, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. It's just that everything has been so hectic lately and now Angeless getting hurt."

"I know you better than anyone, Zeke. Even better than Jordan does, and you tell him everything. I know when something's wrong with you. Please tell me what it is."

Zeke looked at her, his caring for her emitting throughout. He didn't want to tell her anything, because that would only bring trouble. And all he wanted to do was protect her. He hadn't done a very good job protecting Angeless, the only person thus far that he had told the truth about his scar.

He hadn't even told Jordan, knowing that Jordan's outlook on it would cause him to tell their friends. Because this was one secret even Jordan wouldn't be able to keep.

And now he was about to tell Jessica, the one person he cared more about in the world than anyone else. But before he told her the truth behind Angeless' accident, he wanted her to know his other secret.

"OK, I'll tell you what's happening," he bagan." But first I have a confession." He took her hand and looked her square in the eye. "Ever since we were twelve, I had a crush on you.

"And ever since my feelings for you have only grown. I care deeply about you, and wouldn't let anything happen to you."

And then, before Jessica could reply to his confession, he told her about Angeless' skates. But before, she could say anything he leaned down and kissed her, soon drawing away and waiting for the consequences.
Jessica stood there rooted to the spot looking up into Zeke's bright green eyes. Suddenly she smiled feeling a rushing warmth knowing that she was blushing from head to toe. The without reliazing what she was doing she stood on her tipy-toes and kissed him back. Without another word she turned around and headed home leaving behind a speechless Zeke.

Halfway home Jessica relized she still had to go to school. "Maybe I can catch Andrea or one of the other girls before I get there" she thought. "At least I won't have to skip school alone."

Her thoughts were interupted by a slightly rough tap on the shoulder. She turned around and was staring up into the face of school jock Brent Huffman. Everyone in their group hated him. "What the hell do you want?" Jessica said heatedly.

Kai limped down the street that morning, bruises hidden beneath the dark tank top that he had slid on with his usual dark jeans. He felt weak, fragile in the morning's uncaring eye. He remembered last night... recalled his mother's cries and the pain as he had stood in his father's drunken way.

He had woken up on a cold, hard floor. At first he hadn't remembered where he was but as soon as he had managed to work his way onto painful legs and looked around he realized he was still in his kitchen. Where his father had kicked him into unconciousness...

"Stupid bastard." he mumbled... at least the man was sane enough not to touch his face... a broken nose or battered eye wouldn't go unoticed. This way he was at least... safe...

He glanced at his watch, realised he was late... Again... was there even any point in going to school until later? Maybe one of the girl's would be skiving too... he turned the corner, deciding to head for Andrea's house; she was the most likely one to run into around here if she was late...

"Let go of me Brent." He heard a familiar voice.

"What if I don't want to?" The all too recognisable tone rose from around the corner. She yelped slightly and Kai picked up the pace. Pain sparked up his legs as he turned to face the scene before him.

"Jess..."
Angeless was sat with his girlsfriend. She was on the bench while he was lat on the ground with his head layed back against her lap. Jenny was sat over on the feild with Zeke and jorden. He wished he was over there talking and laughing.

"I still don't know why you agree'd to going to the prom with Jen...it's not like she's even that atractive "sighed his girlfriend.

"Because...Clair...she's a good friend and we all said we'd go together. I mean I know for a fact you said yes to Brent. So I said yes to Jenny....and she is atractive "sighed Angeless still trying to flick a cigarete up into his mouth.

There was a long pause before he suceeded in catching one in his mouth.

"I get it...you would rather be around that skank than me "huffed Clair.

He was quiet for a moment as he thaught about it. Getting up he ruflled his hair and lit up the ciggy.

"Yes....actualy I would rather be around her than you "he smiled sure of something for a change.

He heard a shrill scream followed by a pounding pain in the back of his head. Clair had thrown a can of coke at him.

"You're dumping me? "shouted Clair.

"Yep...bye. Oh and Jenny isn't a skank...she's way more atractive than you "he smiled as he blew a stream of smoke out.

He waved to Jenny and she waved back. He sat down looking pleased with himself.

"Whats got you in a good mood? "asked Zeke?

Angeless smiled and then lean't over and gave Jenny a quick kiss on the lips and then whispered.

"See I told you I loved you "he wore a grin that was strangly bemused and exstatic at the same time.

Jenny just looked at him while Zeke and jordan were putting two and two together. They knew he liked her but they hadn't thaught he'd act on it.

"Answer in your own time "he smiled as flicked a Ciggy up into his mouth.
Zeke took Angeless aside and walked off, leaving Jordan and Jenny. Jordan looked questioningly back at Zeke who mouthed ‘just stay cool’ as he left. Jordy was trying to get Zeke and Angeless to come back, not knowing if he really wanted to be left alone with Jenny right now.

Jordy turned around to find Jenny a little speechless and dazed, the way she was back at the hospital a day or so ago, but then she snapped out of it right away, turning her speechlessness into a sort of hysteric anger.

“You knew about this!” Jenny said loudly once Zeke and Angeless were out of earshot, and it wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

“Me? No…” Jordan said, trying to play it off like he was as surprised as she was.

“Jordy Pryce- don’t you lie to me!” She said as she started slapping his arm. But he just laughed.

“Okay… okay… you got me.” He said smiling, holding up his hands in surrender. “There aren’t a whole lot of things to talk about when we’re out skating and stuff, I mean… the subject of girls comes up all right?”

“No not all right!” She said, still a little upset about it.

“There’s this thing called… um what was it again… oh yeah- trust?” Jordy said, “Guys have guy talk sometimes, just how girls have girl talk.” He reasoned.

“Yeah but, you should’ve told me something like THIS.”

“Oh come on!” Jordy said, taking on a tone similar to Jenny’s. “I’m sure you know who every one of the girls in our group likes and you’ve never told me any of it, have you?”

“Well… no…” Jenny said, starting to see the point.

“So there you go okay?” Jordy said, sitting down on the small set of bleachers out on the side of the soccer field where they were. “Girls keep secrets, and so do guys, everyone hides things okay.” He said a little calmer now. Jenny came and sat beside him.

“So what is your secret Jordan?” She asked a lot calmer now and sounding more like a listening sort of friend than a fighting sort of friend, “I’m sure you’ve got lots.”

“I’m sure I do too,” Jordy said, smiling at her, “Honestly… what do you want to know?”

“Your deepest, darkest secret of course.” Jenny said.

“I don’t have any dark secrets,” Jordan laughed.

“Well, I doubt this is very deep or dark, but I’ve always kind of wondered why you started wearing hats all the time.” Jenny said, seeming interested but Jordan laughed a little.

“You’re right, that is hardly my deepest, darkest secret…” he said, only halfway telling the truth, “But… I guess if you really want to know…”

“I’m just curious, I mean you seem to wear a different one every day.” She said, grabbing today’s black hat off of Jordy’s head and putting it onto hers. He ran his hand through his hair before he answered.

“Well… you remember when I moved here in fifth grade? And I didn’t really know anyone and everyone was kind of separated off into their own little groups and no one would be my friend? Remember?” Jordan asked, wanting an answer.

“Jessica was your friend though wasn’t she?”

Jordy nodded, “Yes but, you didn’t even become our friend until like seventh grade Jenny…”

“Yeah, I know, but… I do remember you when you moved because you were new.”

“So then you’ll remember how my hair was really short, like almost buzzed and I had that fat scar on the back of my head…” He put his right hand up to the back of his head to run his hand through his hair again. Jenny put both of her hands onto the back of his head too and pushed his head down a little bit so she could move the small bit of hair he had out of the way to see the scar he was mentioning.

“And you told everyone that you fell through a glass coffee table when you were little.” Jenny said quietly, running her hand over his head. Jordan nodded even though that honestly wasn’t the truth. But he just wasn’t ready for this talk just yet about the origin of his scar, even though he knew the time would come one of these days.

“But no one had ever teased me about it until fifth grade when I moved here.” He said quietly, moving Jenny’s hands away from his head. No one had ever teased him before because they all knew the truth about the scar, but when Jordan moved to his new school and new town, he didn’t want to be known for the same reasons he had been known for at his old school. So he lied about it and the teasing followed. “And it hurt so bad to get teased like that…” he said sadly, taking on a serious side. “I didn’t know what to do about it… I couldn’t get anyone to talk to me without laughing at me and I didn’t really have any friends other than Jess…”

“I’m sorry if I was ever one of those people, Jord.” Jenny said quietly, he shook his head.

“It’s all right…” he said, and then continued, “So I started wearing hats to cover it up until my hair grew out more to hide it a little. But once my hair was grown out more like it is now, I was so used to wearing hats, I just kept doing it. So that’s that.” He concluded.

“I’m sorry about the teasing Jordan.” Jenny said again.

“Jenny, it wasn’t you, and it’s okay. Trust me, I’m over it. Besides, it doesn’t happen anymore, and it was because of the teasing I decided to start making jokes instead of being the joke.” He chuckled a little, “I mean, better to have them laughing with you than at you right?”

“I guess so.” Jenny said.

“I feel so bad for Zeke sometimes…” Jordan continued, “I mean, he can’t hide his scar as well as I can, and… he still gets teased about it, I wish I could help him out or something, but I just don’t know how…”

“Why don’t you boys talk about your scars?” Jenny asked, “I thought it was like whoever has the worst one wins… what about that?”

“I told you, I fell through a coffee table…” Jordan said.

“I’m sorry Jordan but, for some reason, I just can’t believe that…” Jenny said, maybe calling his bluff.

But Jordan didn’t even need to answer because just then, Jo and Andrea came up to the two of them, seeming a little spooked about something.

“We’ve been looking all over for you guys!” Jo said.

“Well we’ve been right here.” Jenny said, uninterested in their drama.

“You two need to come quick!” Andrea said, “Jordan, you need to come now- Jenny, you and Jo need to find Zeke and Angless, there’s trouble!” She spoke quickly, and the urgency in her voice caused Jordy to react.

“What’s wrong?” He asserted.

“It’s Kaio! He’s fighting Brent Huffman just around the corner! Jordy you have to go help him! We need to find Zeke and Angeless!” Jo said, as she pulled Jenny off with her to find the other boys and Jordy and Andrea ran off towards the direction of Kai.

On the way, Andrea explained what she thought had happened, that Jess was getting harassed by Brent and Kaio was walking past, and then felt he had to do something. About the time she had finished with the story, the two of them rounded the corner to find Jess on the side trying to make Kai stop and Kai and Brent throwing fists at one another.

Jordan decided to jump into the fight too- whatever Brent had done to Jessica was probably worth a beating and besides, he had to support his friend. A few seconds later, they were joined by Jenny and Jo who brought along Angless and Zeke.

At first, Jordy was all into the fight and the idea of the fight. To him, Brent just represented all those fifth graders who had made fun of him back in elementary school and now it was time for pay back. Even though he said he was over it, there was still a part of him that still had a sore spot for teasing. But, the fight was getting a little out of control now. Jordy had been hit a few times and he had hit Brent and some of his ‘friends’ a few times too and he hoped that someone would just make all this madness end- he had no more anger to unleash.
Jenny loved all her friends. Truly, she did. But when things escalated from friendly love to something different..well, she pushed those feelings back down. After all, what was the point of being tied down to one person, when you loved everyone?
She might have loved one of her friends better than the rest, but she couldn't decide which one now. After all, she had felt a shot of electricity run through her when Angeless kissed her, and she had felt a strong desire to put her head on Jordan's shoulder when he had spilled some of his secrets. She had wanted to hug Kai when the panic seized his face, and she had to hold herself back from smiling when any of her friend's told her they loved her.
She loved Zeke, too. But he was Jessie's boy.
And Jenny would never break that tie of friendship.
*********************

But now, there was trouble: again.
When Jenny and Jo had run after Angeless and Zeke, Jo had blurted out the situation.
"There's a fight!" she had said, and Angeless and Zeke had automatically known that their friends were involved.
Angeless had thrown the cigarette from his mouth and said, "Where are the other girls? You chicks should stay out of this..."
Jenny grabbed Angel's arm. "Yeah right! Man, if you two are going-we're going. Besides, you'll need our help. We can fight better than any of you guys."
Angeless had put on half-smile as the four of them ran off. It had been a hopeless wish that maybe Jenny would stay out of the ruckus. But then again, this is what Angeless liked about her...

But soon, after all the boys were against Brent and his friends- Jenny could see that things were getting out of hand. Andrea was sniffling loudly over in the corner, Jo was taking it all in stride-watching as if she were watching television. Jessica was Jenny's only hope.
Genevieve pulled her away, "We've got to do something!" she yelled over the noise.
"I know!" Jessica responded, frantically. Genevieve could only imagine how badly hurt her friends were.
Jessica and Jenny circled around, as if looking for a solution. Suddenly, the both saw it.
"The hose," they said in chorus.
Bringing a hose out from someone's side yard, they turned it full blast on the boys. Dripping and grunting, the boys pulled apart, confused at the cold water being blasted at them from two directions.
In the midst of the confusion, Brent and his friends, who happened to be the worse for wear, slunk away unnoticed. Jenny and Jessica continued with the water for several minutes. They figured everyone needed a good calming down.
When the water finally stopped, however, they realized that they had been soaking their own friends.
The boys looked at the girls with angry faces. Jessica looked hurt, but Jenny could only laugh.
"Hey, we figured it works with dogs. It should work with guys!"
Angeless laughed, and afterward, no one could stop from bursting out into fits of laughter.
*****************

"What was he doing to you anyway?" Jenny asked, handing out glasses of Coke to the group. After everyone had had enough of the good laughter, the boys had gone home to change, but met again in Jenny's den to discuss what had happened.
Andrea had kept an eye on Zeke, making sure he didn't do anything rash (like going out to find Brent again!)
But, everyone seemed calm, and even a little exhausted.
"Stupid bastard..." Zeke broke in before Jessica could answer.
Andrea gave him a disapproving look.
"Sorry, Drea," he apologized.

"Well," Jessica answered. She was sitting on the floor while Zeke was on the couch. Jenny noticed she looked a little smug as her back rested on his shins. "Whatever he was doing, he didn't get a chance to carry it out, thanks to Kai."
Kai, who looked melancholy, gave a fake salute. He had only laughed minimally at the hose incident, and was again sunk into a sullen mood.
Jenny gave him a warning gaze. He only stared back at her, so she gave up.
"How's your arm Angel?" Genevieve said, instead, noticing that her friend was being extra careful with his sling.
"Tried to get a few good hits in with my other arm," he said. "But seems I'm only a good fighter with my hurt one. I only gave Brent's friend, Trevor, a black eye."
At the name Trevor, Kai looked back at Jenny mischievioiusly. Jenny shook her head no at him. But Kai wouldn't be stopped.
"That's the kid that asked you to the prom yesterday, wasn't it, Jen?" His eyes sparkled. Jenny was glad to see some renewed vigor in him, but she wish he wouldn't have said anything.
"Yeah, well, that kid's a..."
"He asked you to the what now?" Angel said, sitting up with his back away from the couch, a ciggarette dangling in his mouth. He took a puff. "Well, holy shit." He looked contemplative. "Should have give that kid more than a black eye...." Angel looked over at Jenny to see what her response would be, but Andrea had already cut in.
"Look, can't we have just one day with no trouble?" She looked like she was on the brink of tears, again. But Jordan quickly solved the problem. "Now, come on Andrea. We're not that bad off. I mean, just a broken arm, attempted assault, and crazy love troubles this week...Really, is that so bad?"
Andrea couldn't help but squeak out a grin.

"Well," she said, laguidly. "I hope that tomorrow isn't such a horrible adventure."

Somehow, as Jenny looked from Jordan, to Angeless, to Kai, and then to Jessica and Zeke, she knew that Andrea's hopes were impossible.
Yeah the fight was bad, especially since Zeke's own cousin, Kirk, was one of the transgressors. As it turned out it was eight against four. Zeke had fought Brent and Kirk. In a fight, Kirk was more agile than Zeke. But Zeke had something neither Brent nor Kirk could face off against. They had attacked the person he cared for most, and they would not get away with it.

But now the fight was over. Zeke massaged his scar. Jordy looked over at him.

"Your scar hurting again?" Jordy asked.

"Yeah, Brent got a lucky shot that knicked it," Zeke replied, laughingly.

Everyone grinned at the statement. They knew
it would take a lot for Zeke to tell everyone the origin of his scar. Well, everyone but Angeless, who Zeke had already told. He looked at Zeke with a 'you should tell them' expression.

"Do ya'll wannna know how I got this scar?" he asked suddenly. Everyone looked up at him, shocked. They didn't think he would ever tell them.

"What happened?" Jenny asked, intrigued.

"You have to promise this doesn't leave this room," Zeke emphasised. They all agreed, and Zeke began.

"I've had this scar for about a year and half. Up to this point, the only people who know the true origin of my scar are my parents, Angeless, and a few others who need not be named.

"Back then, when I was seventeen, I had joined a small group of individuals working directly with the Police Department and the FBI. We were recruited for our knowledge of stealth and our cool under stress.

"We went on a mission, our last mission before we were allowed to return to a normal lifestyle, to bust a small criminal organization. Well, long story short, the criminal empire fell, I was injured in a brawl, and they were put in prison. One escaped, messed with Angeless' skates, but was caught soon after. Sorry, Angel."

"So that's why you were always scarce back then," Kai piped up, wholeheartedly. Everyone soon settled down long enough for a peaceful silence. The tension in the room dulled, and a group of teenagers had retaken the form of these eight young people. Life was going to be better.
THURSDAY June 15:

Jessica awoke the next morning in a very cheerful mood. Buzzing around humming quietly to herself as she went through her usual morning routine.

She had been doing a lot of thinking latley and... let's just say she had a few suprises up her sleeve. Speaking of those suprises graduation was one of them. (You'll see what I mean later)

So many thoughts were racing through Jessica's head as she got ready for school. "Maybe I shouldn't do it, I'll probably just make a fool of myself. Don't think that way Jess, you already said you would. Yeah,yeah I know but...? But you'll be great. Yeah okay... I'll do it."

With her mind made up Jessica, her heart swelling with confidence, walked out the door and headed for Jordy's house to walk yet again to school.


(NOTE:to figure out what all the nonsense about the suprise and stuff please visit "The Last Summer Forum [13+] Thanks!
Andrea had to wake up early to get to school for a meeting. She was on prom committe and they were talking about all the finalizations and making sure they had everything in place.

All throughout the previous week Andrea had resisted temptation to tell her friends about all the amazing stuff they had got for prom this year. It wasn't going to be like last years, boring and dull, but a wonderland of music, decorations and whole bucnch of other cool stuff.

About half way throught their meeting there was a loud commotion coming from the west side of the building. No one really thought anything of it until they heard a thundering crash and people screaming.

By this time the room was in a frenzy with people running to the door to make it to the west wing and see what was going on. Andrea stayed behind for a while not really knowing if she wanted to see what was going on.

"You're going to kick yourself later if you don't go see what it is." she told herself. With that Andrea made her way out the door and started jogging to the west wing.

Andrea let out a small gasp as she stood there in shock taking in the scene before her.
Angeless had been down the icerink for the last 4 hours. He prefered it when the ice was still smooth. That and nobody else was ever around at half 9 in the morning. He was currently gliding on one foot in a long curve as he touched the ice with one hand. As he straightend up again he lept up into the air doing a tripple salco. As he landed the ice sprayed slightly into a pearly white cloud. He heard clapping and looked over to the stands and saw Jenny sitting there with a cup of coffee. He came to a stop and then headed over.

"Hey...didn't expect to see you till tonight "he smiled perking up alittle.

"Well I woke up to early and thaught you'd be around here...so I came to see you "she smiled briefly at him before drinking her coffee.

He glanced down and saw that she had a pair of rented skates sitting near her feet.

"You coming out onto the ice....or not "he asked hoping she would come out?

"Might aswell...just don't laugh. Haven't done this for ages. Not since I gave you that scar from knocking you over "laughed Jenny.

"Meh...it's all good....Oh and about tonight....I haven't decided wether to streak through Prom or do a little song or some crap... "he laughed.

"You're not streaking....you remember what happened the last time? The football mascot tackled you "laughed Jenny.
Jordy was popping his pop tarts into the toaster when the doorbell rang. He ran to pull the door open before slipping back into the kitchen and grabbing his breakfast. Of course it was Jessica, no surprise there. When Jordy returned Jessica was standing in the entry way, with the door open.

“Hey Jordan.” She said.

“What?” Jordy asked, “‘hey Jordan’? What’s wrong with you?” He only halfway joked, she didn’t normally call him Jordan unless something was serious and she never said just a simple hello, it always had to be something witty or smart.

“What do you mean? Nothing is wrong with me…” Jessica said, glancing around a little and shifting her weight from one foot to the other somewhat uneasily.

“Right…” Jordan said, eyeing her suspiciously but smiling at the same time. He shook his head before calling upstairs “I’m leaving!”

“Okay! Bye Jordan!” His aunt called back.

On the way to school Jessica was a little quieter than usual.

“Come on, something is wrong here.” Jordy said.

“Why would you say something like that?” Jessica asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.

“I’ve walked to school with you every morning for the past what… seven years?” he asked, “And you’ve always had something to say to me.” He looked at her and she looked back, “Jess… I know you okay… and not once have you ever greeted me with a ‘hey Jordan’ and not once have you ever been this quiet in the mornings, so… what’s the matter?”

“Nothing is the matter!” Jessica said as she took on a little bit of a defensive tone towards Jordy who was a little taken aback at first.

After a few seconds of silence, Jordan finally spoke again, “Okay Jess, I’m sorry- I just, feel like we haven’t really been talking so much these past few days I mean…really talking…” His voice trailed off and when it picked up it was a little harsher than before, “Why don’t you tell me what’s up with you and Zeke these days? Or how’s your mom? Or your classes? Or how excited you are to be graduating? Or whatever… And what the hell is wrong with you today? You’re supposed to be able to talk to your friends!”

“Jordan, sometimes people need their privacy.” She said in an annoyed way, not looking him in the eyes.

Jordy stopped walking. “And sometimes people need their friends Jessica!” He nearly yelled- an uncommon occurrence for his persona.

Jessica stopped walking too and stood on the sidewalk, surprised at Jordy’s little outburst- it definitely wasn’t like him to get angry. She turned to face him.

“Are you okay Jordy?” She asked, a lot calmer and softer.

Jordan took a deep breath, and tried to talk a little calmer as well, “No Jessica. I’m not.” He said, “There is a lot of stuff happening right now and none of it is very good…” he paused, “But everyone is so caught up in everything, they don’t realize that anything is wrong. They can’t see that everything is changing. They won’t understand that things will never be the same again.”

“Is that it?” Jessica asked, approaching Jordan and putting her hand on his shoulder, “Are you worried about the end of school? The future? That things are changing? What is it?”

“Yes Jessica, I’m worried about all of that and more… you have no idea how much I fear for the future,” he said, then added quieter, “my future.” As he brushed away her hand and started walking the rest of the way to school on his own. This was not like him, something was definitely wrong. Jessica stood there, speechless, unsure what to think or do. Sure, Jessica and Jordy had fought before, but for some reason, this time was different.

As Jordan approached the school, he was still a little worked up from the ‘conversation’ he and Jessica had just had. There were so many thoughts flying through his mind he didn’t even know which one to focus on. And that was when he saw the ambulances and fire trucks and people all standing around with the same confused look on their face.

“What happened?” Jordy asked a younger boy who was standing around with one of those confused looks as he watched the fire trucks make their way towards the back of the school.

“I heard a car crashed through the west side of the A-wing or something…” the kid was saying.

A-wing!?Jordy thought quickly, Andrea! The thought crossed his mind about the same time he took off running towards the building. He knew she had a meeting in there this morning, and he only hoped she wasn’t involved.

He slowed down as he came to the doors of the A-wing and pulled them open and entered. He could hear the commotion coming from the far end of the hallway, he ran down there and was surprised when his eyes were met with a cloud of dust, rubble atop a smashed car, firefighters and EMTs and police trying to get anyone not hurt to clear out. Jordy scanned over the faces, desperately hoping not to find Andrea anywhere in the rubble.

“Jordan!” He heard a familiar voice call out to him. He turned to see Andrea running towards him, tears streaming down her face.

“Andrea… you’re okay!” A rush of relief came over him as he found his friend unharmed.

Without warning, she threw her arms around Jordy’s waist and put her head into his shoulder as the tears continued to come. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms tightly around her and placed his head on top of hers.

“Shhh…” Jordy said, knowing how sensitive she was, “It’s okay… it’s okay…” he whispered, trying to calm her down a little bit.

Holding her, he eyed the rubble, hoping the sight was the worst of the damage.
Jenny was in class without any of her friends. Although she shared most of her classes with at least one friend, Medevial Literature just wasn't something anyone was willing to take with her. Usually, this class was entertaining-interesting, at least, but today Jenny felt too ill to concentrate on her work.
"Nervous about the big game?" a small, wiry girl whispered to Jenny. The girl was Bell Thompsan, the goalie on their award-winning soccer team. The team had conference finals a week after school ended.
"No," Jenny answered, throwing Bell a disgusted lok. "When do I ever get nervous?"
Belle shrugged nonchalantly. "You just look odd today-that's all. Besides, the scouts are coming to watch. And we all know they're not cming to check out the defenders play, right?"
Jenny put her head in her hands. The truth was she had forgotten all about the tournament until Bell had mentioned it. She had been focusing, instead, on the fiasco that had occurred earlier that morning.
"Look, B, they're coming to watch the team, okay? Not any one specific person. I don't want the team crumpling just because they think the scouts are after one star."
Bell shrugged again. "You know, you've been killin' it at practices. I'm just saying-you're the captain-they're gonna be watchin' you the most."
"GIRLS! PLEASE BE QUIET BACK THERE!" their teacher pointed a long, curled finger towards their corner. For once, Jenny was glad for an excuse not to talk.
***************

That morning, Jenny had rushed to the A-wing, her adrenaline high and her face flushed with terror.
"Who was it?" she had shouted at the SROs as they tried to force her away from the wreckage.
"Please, miss, remain calm and go back to your classroom."
"My friends could be in there, you idiot!"
The SRO didn't answer, but continued to lead her away from the ruble. Suddenly, Jenny heard her name being called.
"Over here!" It was Jordan, who was embracing a sobbing Andrea.
"Are you guys okay?" Jenny yelled over the horrible noise. Jordan nodded, but didn't let go of Andrea.
"I'm going to go try and find the others," Jenny said, leaving before they could respond.
But before she had even crossed into B-wing, Jenny had met up with one person she wish she had avoided: Clair.
"You know," Clair said, coming up to Jenny. "I was pissed that you took my boyfriend away from me. But now that I realize what a bucket of scum he is-I'm glad that a slut like you can have him."
Jenny stood still for a minute, trying to decide what was more important: finding her other friends or beating the shit out of Clair. She decided-friends.
"Look bitch, I don't have time for you right now," Jenny said, pushing Clair aside. "Besides, rumor is, you and Brent have a thing. Which is cool. But you must not be good enough for him either since he tried to get with my friend Jessica."
Clair looked furious, but Jenny continued on, fuming with anger and worried for her friends' welfare.
"Woah, Jen! Are you all right?" It was Zeke and Jessica.
"Hurry to A-wing, and find Andrea and Jordan!" Jenny said to them as she kept hurrying on.
Bewildered, the two looked at each other.

***************

"I'm telling you to leave her the fuck alone! Do you hear me?" Jenny heard Angeless' voice carry down the hallway. She ran towards it, a wave of relief washing over her as she saw Kai and Jo with him.
Angeless was standing with his back to Jenny, his one good fist clenching and unclenching in a thretening way. Across from him was Trevor-looking rough with a black eye, but fierce and ready to fight.
Kai and Jo stood watching the scene placidly, looking slightly interested but rather calm.
"What the hell is going on?"Jenny screamed, getting in between the two boys and throwing horrible looks at Jo and Kai. "Why don't you stop them?"
They didn't answer, but Jenny saw Kai give a little shrug. Why should he care?
Jenny was angry and upset. There were people dying in a horrible accident, and they were fighting over prom?!?
"Do you realize that I've been imagining all of you killed in the car accident in the A-wing? That I've been evisioning you all lying on the ground, blood coming out of your mouths, eyes wide open? I've been running and searching all over for you, worried to death, and this is how you repay me? But getting in fights, and....." Jenny couldn't talk anymore. Looking from Angeless to Kai to Jo, she felt her eyes start to burn.
Ohhh no. She wasn't going to cry in front of them. Not now.
"You make me sick," she growled, stomping away.
She could hear Kai say,"Now look what you've done..." as she continued to run away from them.
But in truth none of them had done anything.
And for some reason, that's what hurt her the most.
******************

Now, back in class, Jenny felt sick to her stomach. She felt weak and vulnerable-characteristics she hated in any being.
She raised her hand.
"Yes? Miss Peyton. Do you have the answer for us?" her teacher looked at her expectantly.
"No, um, actually I was wondering if I could use the restroom."
"Certainly."
Jenny wrote Bell a quick note to pick up her books for her when class ended.
I'm going home, the note said. Could you take my books to my locker for me? I just need to be alone for awhile.
And with that she walked out of the school building, only carrying her purse, heading in a direction opposite from her house.
*******************

"Have you seen Jenny?" Jessica asked the group as they met outside after school. They were all a little exhausted, and a little pale. The day had been an eventful, if horrible, one.
"No, she's mad at me, Jo, and Kai," Angeless said. He was smoking cigarette after cigarette, until a resolute Jordan had taken the pack away. "Look, we don't need you getting lung cancer on top of all this."
Angeless hadn't protested.
"I looked in her house, in the gym, at the soccer fields, and in the treehouse," Kai answered, "Couldn't find her."
"I haven't seen her all day," Andrea said.
Jessica looked around at her other friends.

Genevieve Peyton was missing.
Zeke was taken aback. Jenny? Missing? What else could go wrong? Unfortunately, he didn't have to wait long to find out. Because soon they were interrupted by someone none of them had expected to help them.

Kirk came tumbling up to them, an unusually troubled look on his face. He looked straight into Zeke's eyes, forgetting that Zeke had done a number on him during the fight, and relayed his news.

"Trevor and some of the guys found Jenny walking home alone and grabbed her," he blurted out. Zeke looked at Angeless, who was now fuming. But then again, why wouldn't he be. He really cared for Jenny. But Kai spoke first.

"Where are they," he demanded.

"I'll take you there," Kirk replied. So they headed out, determination etched on all of the guys' faces. Except Angeless. He looked ready to kill.
"Wasn't this supposed to be the best time of a person's life, getting out of high school fooling around?" Jessica was in deep thought as she followed Kirk and the other's to find Jenny.

The week had started out great but now, it was all turning into a great big mess. Everyone running away, getting hurt, in fights, it was crazy.

"Sometimes I just wish I could go back to when I was like 13. That would be nice." Jessica was so deep in thought she almost missed a sharp turn around the corner they were rounding.

Back on a straight path Jessica continued thinking. She remembered all the countless times when all the gang would hang out, not a care in the world. She missed, she missed it a lot. The sense of not having to worry about what was coming next, living life one day at a time. Now that they were older they had responsibility, they'd soon be on their own. Out in the real world.

Jessica was brought back to reality when she bumped into Kai.

"Sorry" she mumbled under her breath.

She looked up and suddenly realized where they were.
Abandoned and decadent in it’s aging years the old cinema was perfect for whatever Brent and his crew were striving to carry out. It still had old ‘To Let’ signs hanging from boarded windows but even when it had closed, before Kai had even moved here officially, everyone had known it would never be replaced. The building was too tucked away in it’s old fashioned cobble lane and just standing in front of it made his neck crawl with childhood fears that would never quite go.

People had whispered about this place for years… Parents told children that if they didn’t behave then a mad man would snatch you away to his hovel in this place. Kai was surprised Brent had had the courage to go in here. Especially seeing as back in 8th grade the fool had dared an anti-social Kaio to go inside.

That was how he’d become friends with Zeke originally, and Angeless… Because they had come with him. Simply because they hated Brent and refused to let Kai deal with this on his own they had all, small and scared, wiggled their way into the building.

“Ready to do it again?” He murmured to the angry looking Ezekiel by his side.

His friend’s eyes hardened and he nodded, “Of course.”

For a second Kai could see, not just his friend, but a fighter too. Someone who had had to keep up a struggle to survive… Like he did… but for better cause he was sure. Kaio smiled slightly and moment passed.

Jo was already at the boarded door. Andrea hung back slightly as they crept forward. Angeless looked like he was trying to suppress a grin, Kaio knew why.

“How did they get in!” Jo was running her hands over the door, Jordy at her side, frowning.

Kai felt a little jealous but pushed it down. Until he could tell them everything he couldn’t have a proper relationship. Those were built on trust. Trust that could over come shame.

“Through here.” He had moved to the unused booth and kicked it’s rotting base. It creaked open and he realised how much they had really grown. This hole had been huge when they had last come. Now it seemed so tiny.

Andrea looked more and more uncertain, she hated this sort of thing, they all knew it. She knew they knew it and her eyes went from one person to another imploring me.

“Andrea do you… wanna stay out here in case anything happens and we can’t get out.” That was Jess, always thinking of her friends, “It’s a small chance but we might as well back ourselves up.”

Andrea paused, torn between her friends and her dislike of violent confrontation, conflict that was inevitable. After all, Brent had effectively kidnapped Jen. That wasn’t fair play at all.

“We need to get going.” Kaio tried to move things along, “We don’t even know if Jen’s ok yet…”

Zeke moved forward and was through the narrow gap instantly, “Stay or follow, do what you want.”
Angeless grabbed a pipe from the ground and went through.

"He's so going to eat pavement. First he asks my ex to the prom...then he has a pop at my friends. Now he trying to get my current...whatever "sighed Angeless.

"You aren't going to actualy going to hit him with that are you? "asked Jessica?

"Haven't decided yet "smirked Angeless in the creepy look of his that was often hard to ignore.

He still hadn't worked out if Jenny felt the same way. But no way was he going to let some asswhole like Brent hurt her.

"BRENT "he shouted just as he swung the pipe into his shin.

Dropping the pipe he head-butted Brent. He knew there was a reason why liked having that plate on his skull.

"My heads harder....Zeke get Jenny out of here...I'm going to have a private conversation with Brent "Sighed Angeless pressing his foot into Brents neck.

Zeke and the others vacated quietly.

"Right I'm going to talk you're going to listen...The next time you come near me or my friends I'm going to smash the bridge of your nose into your brain...So be very careful. I might be a push over...but I care...if I so much as here another word about you hurting Jenny or any of them...you're dead "Sighed Angeless sounding beyond pissed off.
(sorry this is so long! I just had a lot of things to say for the story I guess haha... and I took long enough to write it all so I figured I might as well just post it all up)


Jordy worried sometimes about his friends- he worried about a lot of things really, but lately he worried mostly about his friends. They all needed each other, and there were so many secrets flying around and so many secrets kept under the rug and everything that he was sure things were not okay.

They were back in the tree house again, all of them, just sitting, here- in their safe haven.

No one really knew what to say to any one. Some people looked at Jen, wondering if she wanted to talk about whatever had just gone down, some people looked at Angeless, wondering if he had any choice words to share, some looked at Andrea, hoping she didn’t see much of what happened, and some looked at Jordy, usually the one to start up some kind of a conversation. But instead it was Jessica who spoke first.

“What’s up with you today Jord?” Jessica asked him from across the tree house.

“What do you mean?” He asked back.

“This morning… at school… right now…” She said, “Something’s different, something’s wrong.”

“Yup.” He said simply, not even looking at anyone anymore, “Something is different. And something is wrong.”

“What is it?” Zeke asked, but Jordan was quiet.

“It’s us.” Kai spoke up, “Isn’t it?” He asked, not really to Jordan but to anyone, “We’re different. We’re wrong.”

“Haven’t you ever wished you could just slow things down, make it so it didn’t all happen so fast?” Jordy asked, not really expecting an answer.

“You have to be able to talk to your friends Jordan,” Jessica said.

“Maybe you should take your own advice.” He snapped back. He didn’t like fighting with Jessica, they had been friends for so long- in fact they all had been friends for so long, and he didn’t like fighting with any of them. He could feel the tension escalating and he could feel himself getting more and more drawn into it, that he knew he couldn’t just back down now.

“This isn’t like you,” Jessica said.

“Of course it’s not!” He said getting more and more worked up, “I hate being angry Jess, I hate talking like this, I hate everything about this day and this week and this moment…” his voice trailed off a little bit and when it picked up it was quieter, “Things aren’t so great right now, there are things happening you guys don’t even know about, things that you guys could never guess… and things I could never tell you because everyone is so caught up in this high school drama that it wouldn’t make a difference if I did or if I didn’t tell you...” He got up to leave, and just left, simple as that.

“Someone should go talk to him.” Angeless suggested, knowing an angry Jordy was not a good thing.

“I’ll go.” Jessica said, making the motions to follow.

“Sorry Jess,” Jenny finally spoke up, “But I don’t think that has helped so far. I know you guys are like bffs or whatever but… maybe you should let me go…” She said He talks to me.. she wanted to add but didn’t.

“Well, she is right…” Zeke said, “Sorry to break it to you Jess...” Jessica nodded, knowing her friends were right. And Jenny got up to go.

****

“Hi Jenny…” Jordan’s aunt answered the door.


“Is Jordy here?” She asked.

“He’s up in his room…” She motioned with her head, “Maybe you should go see him.” She smiled as she let Jenny in.

Up in Jordan’s room, Jenny found him lying on his bed, tossing a nerf ball up in the air aimlessly.

“Hey pal…” She said as she stood at the door. Jordy smiled and shook his head, sitting up.

“So they send the famous Genevieve to crack the shell of the troubled soldier…” He said with a small smile, “Well come on over… have at it…” He said, motioning for her to come have a seat next to him. He was calmer now, and more like himself- more relaxed.

“We’re just worried is all,” Jenny started in.

“Of course.” He said, “Now you are.” He smiled.

“Jordan,” She said getting a little annoyed, “Can’t we have a serious conversation?”

“I was serious.” He said, and Jenny could tell he meant it.

“Fair enough…” She said, “But really… you haven’t been yourself lately… didn’t our little talk the other day clear things up?” She asked.

“Um Jenny… that was started over why I wear hats, I would hardly call that clearing up anything.” He smiled, knowing she was trying to be caring.

“Right…” She said, unsure of what to say next.

“You really want to know what’s wrong, Jenny?” He said, looking at her, “I mean what is really wrong?”

“Um… no.” She said in that sarcastic ‘well duh’ tone. Jordy smiled but it was quickly replaced by a serious look.

“You have to swear to me that you will never speak a word of this outside of this house to anyone other than me or my aunt.” He said, “I mean it Jenny… this is serious and I know you like to… ‘share’ certain… things.”

“I pinky promise.” She said as she and Jordan linked pinkies for a second.

“This probably really isn’t what you’re expecting to hear, you probably think I’m going to say ‘I love you Genevieve Peyton, come spend your life with me’ or something like that.” He joked and smiled at her.

“Oh shut up” she said, hitting his arm, “You’re ruining the moment.”

“Well, it isn’t anything like that… It starts with my scar.” He said simply, “And a long time ago when I was younger.”

“And you fell through the coffee table.” She said, trying to complete his thought.

“No Jenny… that’s not how I really got it, that’s just what I told everyone so no one would ask questions or feel sorry for me at my new school.” He let that sink in for a minute before he continued, “When I was younger… my father tried to…” he said, wondering the right way to say it, “well…” he struggled but then just blurted out, “he tried to kill me.”

“I’ve never heard you talk about your dad before…” Jenny said quietly.

“That’s because he’s in prison now for a long time and also because he isn’t my dad.” Jordy said looking at Jenny, “He was never a dad to me, he was just the lame ass who decided to get my mom knocked up.”

“Jordy!” Jenny said surprised, “Don’t say something like that.”

“I wouldn’t say it unless it was true…” He said, his voice trailing off.

He went on to tell her about the time his dad got really drunk after his mom had died and came home in a really bad mood. Jordy had been six. His dad got really angry and went after Jordy with a butcher’s knife. There was no one to stop his dad from killing him, and Jordan was sure he would die. After he had been cut and stabbed a few times, Jordy finally made it out the door where he tried to get anyone to stop and help him. A lady driving home late from work was talking on her cell phone when she hit him.

Things led to more things and eventually Jordy was in the hospital in a coma, his dad was on trial for attempted manslaughter, his mom was dead, and his aunt had come down to take care of things. After a few days in the coma, he woke up and when he did, he was in the care of his aunt. Everyone in his town had known about everything.

Eventually he and his aunt moved when the doctors told them that Jordan needed an operation to remove some scar tissue from his brain that had been amassing since the day his dad had came after him, or even possibly before that. They didn’t know if it was caused by the trauma or something else, just that it needed to go.

“I made up the story so people wouldn’t ask about my dad or my scar or my brain or my accidents or anything. No one knew me here and it was a new start.” He kept talking, Jenny just sat listening, not knowing what to say. “I made a choice when I moved here. I knew I could either be the kid everyone felt sorry for, the kid who went home and felt sorry for himself and thought his life sucked and hated everything. Or, I could be happy. I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself, I wanted to enjoy life and be thankful that everything had turned out so good in the end…”

“That’s some story…” Jenny said quietly.

“Well… that all brings me to what’s wrong.” He chuckled a little, hoping that spilling his heart’s life story would actually help Jenny understand. Then he continued, “So, my dad contacts us and tells us he wants to see me now, he wants me to visit him and stuff and… I’ve been getting these headaches lately and so the doctors think that maybe the scar tissue, or whatever it is is coming back and I might need another operation. And thins are just kind of piling up and stressing me out I guess.”

“And you don’t want us to know any of this why?” Jenny asked, “We’re here for you Jordan, you know that.”

“I just don’t like people knowing,” he said, “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, I don’t want to sulk around and feel sorry for myself either. I would just rather be happy you know?”

“Sure Jordan…” She said, wondering what to say next.


"You don't have to say anything..." He said quietly, as if reading her thoughts, "It's okay."
Jenny just sat there-staring at her friend.
How could such a caring and fun person, have been cursed with such a horrible life? She and Jordan locked eyes again.

"So," he said, softly, "I've told you my secrets--what about you, anything you want to share?"

Jenny laughed uncomfortably. Instead of answering however, she moved over on the bed, and took Jordan's hand. "Are we going to get through all of this?" she asked. She didn't know where the question had come from-she wasn't sure what she meant. But Jordan looked at her as if it was a reasonable inquiry.

"Yeah, of course." Jordan laughed and kissed Jen's forehead. "Look-we've all been through things that are horrible. It's just that..."

Jenny finished the sentence. "....we can't leave each other now. None of us."

"What are we going to do?"

Jenny looked out Jordan's window until an idea came to her.

"Oh my God, Jord. I know what we're gonna do."

"What?"

"We're gonna run away...."

*****************

"But..what are our parents going to say?" Andrea was skeptical about the plan. "Aren't they going to be worried about us?"

Only Jessica stopped to comfort her this time.

Jenny, Kai, and Angeless were talking. "We just have to make sure we bring enough beer," Genevieve said. "Oh, and we have to go right after the game-or else, my mom's gonna want to celebrate."

"Wow, that's confidence for you.." Angeless smiled.

Jenny scooted closer to him and put her face near his, mockingly. "There's no way we aren't going to win!"

"Anyway..." Kai said, annoyed and clearing his throat. "Beer. Man, this means we still have to go to prom, dammit!"

"Yeah, we're going to prom!" Jo yelled over at the group. "And you're gonna like it Kaio!"

"Fine, fine," Kai said, slapping Genevieve. "Ever since you made us draw out of that hat," he was whispering, "Jo's caught prom fever, and she's actually making me care now."

Jenny laughed and looked over at Jordan who was helping Zeke plan out the group's finances. He caught Jenny's eye and winked at her. She smiled, blowing him a kiss. Ever since Jordan had told Jenny his secret, they had been extra close. She only felt guilty that she hadn't been as open.

She wasn't ready to talk about what had happened in that movie theater. Not yet, anyway.

Besides, she had bigger secrets she was hiding.
But now, her mind was on her friends and their happiness. Finally they would be alive only for each other-not for school, not for parents, not anyone other than themselves. Running away for the summer would be the best thing that had ever happened to them.

Though Zeke was uncomfortable with the idea of running away at first, he quickly warmed to the idea. It did seem like a perfect plan. And it really helped that he had all of that money left over from his secret mission that had left him his scar.

He glanced over at Jessica, who was still a little uneasy. But she smiled at him, that special smile that the two of them shared. He walked over to her and gave her a kiss, a loving, reassuring kiss.

Then they watched and helped out as the plans unfolded.
Jessica had finally to go along with the plan, but she did still have some unanswered questions. Where were they going? How were they all going to get there? How long would we be there? And despite the other's she still thought they should leave a note.

The only thought that reassured Jessica was they were staying for a few more days. Tomorrow was prom, Saturday was graduation, and Sunday would be spent finalizing the plans. They had all agreed to meet in the tree house. Actually there was another thing that reassured Jessica, she was with all her friends. This was what this whole crazy plan was about anyway, getting closer to our friends, telling our secrets we've all been hiding for so long. Jessica was still a little wary about that part, she wasn't sure she wanted to share her secret.

It was getting late so we said our good-byes and headed for home.

"This is going to be an intresting three days" Jessica thought silently to herself as she turned on to her street.

Ragged breathing across the tabletop, with pale light across your cheek. Fill the room with pounding music, to match the beat of battered hearts.

Kai was going to run away... They w ere all going to run away. Escape into freedom, solace in each other and each other's acceptance. IN so many of friends he had begun to see what Jordy had... But most of the time he just anted to ignore it because if it was, as they had put it, all wrong, then as a group they were in some way... right...

Beer... matches... malibu... absinth... lighter... some illegal substance in a bag... He ticked through the cabinet in his father's private room as he allowed his latest song to trek through his mind. Knife... belt... cufflinks... nails... strange rag thing... Well he wouldnt need any of that.... Only he father would need them, need the hidden and secret in this house. It wouldn't do, after all, for his wife to see how far a father's respect had turned into a bloody lullaby.

He sighed tramping back to his room. His outfit for the prom had arrived yesterday. It fitted... He hated it... It just wasn't him, but he'd pretend for Jo. He'd always pretend for Jo.

He stared at the alien tux hanging over his bed. He would just have to alter it slightly so he felt comftable... He looked to the scissors on his desk and smiled. He liked to be different... if it worked he'd just keep the suit instead of sending it back to whence it came.

God, sometimes he loved himself.


*

So yeah
Sue me my children.
I love you but you hate me.
So sue me my darling.
Wrapped in blinding ecstasy
Dance, dance this crazy night away.
Tighten your ties until you choke.
Sue me
Sue me for your misery.
So sue me - my everything.


*


Angeless was sitting cross legged next to his motorbike. He had just spent the last hour and a half fixing some run down parts and was just cleaning it up.

He remembered that time he'd taken Jenny up into the mountains to meet up with the others. They'd stopped for coffee and had their first real conversation.

"What you thinking about...Angel-cakes? "asked Jenny snapping him out of his thaught?

He smiled briefly and then stood up. She was wearing those torn up jeans of hers...as well as that sleevless shirt of hers that he liked. She was sucking on the end of a lolipop just adding to her cuteness.

"Remembering our trip into the mountains...how fun it all was "he laughed as he wiped his hands clean.

Jenny smiled that cute little grin of hers.

"Ah you mean spending the night in a cheap motel...because we couldn't afford two rooms. Or passing out on the sofa after that movie? "smiled Jenny.

"All of it....Think that was the first time we'd ever spent that much time togeter. The only person I ever talked to that much before was Andrea "smiled Angeless.

Jenny sat down on the bike seat and swung her legs over.

"Well it...it felt like having a proper....never mind "sighed Jenny.

Angeless looked at her and held her hand for a moment.

"I should have told you sooner...we could have had alot more time together...as more than friends...and I agree...with you it felt like having a proper relationship "sighed Angeless giving her a hug and he kissed the top of her head.

He didn't see it but she had smiled.

"Big softie come on otherwise you'll have to get a tux from somewhere else "smiled Jenny.

"Hey you know me....nominated for prom king already and I couldn't be bothered aside from how good you look with me "smirked Angeless as he spanked her as he went by.

"...you'd best hope you look good in a tux cos thats gonna cost you "laughed Jenny.

"Hey do you still like that Hero song? "asked Angeless?

"Yes....Why? "asked Jenny as they left his house?

"No reason...hope you don't get stage fright "smiled Angeless as he worked out how to ask Kai for some help to pull it off.

He'd sing that song for her and any other couples to try and bring them closer to each other.

"What are you planning??? "asked Jenny?

"We're going to win so we'll be up on stage "lied Angeless.
Genevieve selfishly knew two things: Number 1. She would be prom queen. I mean, how could she not be, when the whole school pretended to be her friend? Number 2. Her soccer team would win the finals. No matter how hard she envisioned losing, she just couldn't see it as a reality. After all, with her forwarding skills-well...there was no option. They would just have to win.

****************************

"Angeless, come here for a second." Jenny and the gang were in the local coffee shop-sharing breakfast and discussing their destination on their planned trip. Andrea, Zeke, Jessica, Jo, Jordan, and Kai were eating and laughing, occasionally throwing food across the tables they occupied. Jenny had walked outside for fresh air, and was calling her friend to her.

"What is it babe?" Angeless sauntered up to Jenny and tried to put his hands on her sides, but she slapped them away.

"You and me've got to decide where we're going." Genevieve
crossed her arms and smiled, while Angeless lit a cigarette and leaned up against the side of the building.

"You and me, together?" He laughed a deep laugh. "Are you finally cracking my little Genevieve?"

"Cracking? I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

"Right. Well, if you won't admit it, I'll say it. You're in love with me." He took a drag and smiled a wicked smile.

"I am not!" Jenny said indignantly. Even if this weren't a true statement, she would be indignant. She hated it when others told her what she was thinking and feeling. It felt like pressure on her shoulders.

Angeless saw a look of incredulty pass over Genevieve's face. His smile dropped and he changed the subject. "I was thinkin' we'd go somewhere awesome. Like House of Blues, or Warp Tour-you know, tons of music, lots of headbanging."

Genevieve's smile returned and she laughed. "Can you see Andrea at the Warp Tour?"

She and her friend locked eyes-then burst into uncontrollable bouts of laughter.
FRIDAY June 16:

Zeke woke up in a cold sweat. He looked over at his alarm clock. It read 3:00 a.m. He moaned as he covered his head, falling into another feverish nightmare.

****************************

Zeke got to the vast Auditorium where their graduation would be held about twenty minutes early. Everyone had agreed to be there to finalize their plans.

Jessica was the only one there. Which made sense, since they had agreed to be there fifteen minutes early. Jessica was always earlier than everyone else.

Zeke walked up to her, while her back was turned. She hadn't seen him yet. He slid his arms around her waist and held her close to him. She was frightened. She turned around quickly, ready to strike.

"Dammit, Izzy," she said in a flustered voice. But she was about to die from laughter. Zeke smiled as he brought her up to him and gave her a tender kiss. Then he pulled something out of his pocket.
*Hey, guys. This is me. I'm actually making an addition. isn't it great? yay, me! This summer has been crazy and I've been in this writing slump. I'm really trying to pull out of it though, so bare w/ me, please. if I mess something up, I'm sooo sorry.*


Jo looked around at the mess that she had called home the last several years. Soon she'd be leaving this dump and headed off w/ her friends. But her dreams would have to wait just a little longer.

Saturday was the big night. Prom. She had been soo glad when she was paired with Kai for prom. She had a small crush on him for awhile, but she couldn't let it grow because then he would most likely discover her secret.

She was going to get ready at Jenny's the night of prom. Using the excuse that it would be easier for her to just leave her stuff there, she had kept it all there away from the filthy streets.

Kai and Angeless were picking them up at the house and then they were all supposed to meet in the auditorium.

Saturday was going to be great. She could feel it.

*YAY ME!!!! LOL. I'll try to keep up the good work. Thanks for putting up w/ me.*
“What’s this?” Jessica asked taking the box from Zeke’s hand.

“Open it” was all he said in reply.

Jessica opened it with trembling hands and there on a golden chain was an opal stone for a pendant. Opal was her birth stone.

“Oh Izzy, it’s beautiful.” Jessica said through tears.

Zeke came up behind her and put it around her neck.

“Thank You” she said as she gave him a hug and a soft kiss.

*********************************

A few minutes later everyone was here.

“Why did we come here early again?” asked Angeless still yawning.

“You already forgot! said Jessica. It’s because we have to finalize our plans...”

Jenny cut her off “and get the best seats!”

Everyone started laughing.

After a moment of laughter Jordan said “Okay time to be serious, so we have a few questions that have to be answered. First of all where are we going to run away too?”

It was silent.

“I have a confession to make” Jessica said suddenly. I was going to tell you guys right before we set out but I might as well tell you now. Last night after some serious thinking and like 50 phone calls I rented us all a condo in down in Florida.

No one got a chance to reply because the rest of their class started filing in...already in their caps and gowns.

All eight of us looked down, we were all still in our normal clothes.

***********************************

After that minor freak out everyone was back in the auditorium and settled in their seats.

The principal got up on stage and made his speech about us all growing up and responsibility, and all that hoopla. After he finished he said “Now before the ceremony begins we have some student performers.”

A couple students read poems or did dances but nothing worthwhile.

“And now for our last student performer” came the principals booming voice “Jessica Daton”

As Jessica made her way up to the stage she couldn’t help but look at her friends stunned faces.
Once she was up there all she could think about was “here goes nothing.”

The music started and she began to sing “As we go on, we remember, all the times we, had together. And as our lives change, come whatever, we will still be, friends forever.” By the time she was finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience.
When Jessica finished and came back to her seat we were all still in shock so no one even said "Great job" This didn't seem to phase her because she was wearing a grin from ear to ear.

The rest of the ceremony past with laughter, clapping and tears.

At the end of the ceremony before you could say supercalifragilisticexpealidous we had all changed and met up outside the building. I guess we were all so worked up about our plan it didn't phase us that we had just graduated high school...forever.

"To the treehouse" Andrea said

"To the treehouse" the rest of them choursed.

Now that, Kai figured, was a real voice. Not maybe one that would ever want to dedicate itself to the music he created but hell, he had forgotten how good Jess was at singing. Even he had felt heat stinging in his eyes as she sang. Zeke had nudged him, raised an eye brow as the one tear Kai had shed in years drifted from his eye. He shrugged, she really was that good.

"That was awesome..." He murmured in her ear as they trekked across to the tree house. She smiled softly but didn't say anything. She probably knew that if he really thought it was good then there w as no doubt it was amazing. Afterall, music was the one thing he had always been a part of and he was hard to please.

"You know... we just finished school..." Jordy's voice sounded giddy.

"Yup!" Jo was grinning, her smile was almost scarily wide.

Kaio caught the infectious vibe and laughed slightly, "School's out for Summer..." he found the air guitar and brought up an old Alice Cooper song that Angeless had tried to stop him singing countless times before, "School's out for EVER! School's been blown to PEICES."

But everyone was happy and for the first time in what seemed far too long, he could push the livid red records of his history into a back pocket and forget it. They had plans to make, ideas to constructs, things to talk about... This was definately going to be the best time of their lives.

He'd chickened out of singing after his remembered he detested performing ifront of large crowds. So he basicly slow danced with Jenny after a while.

"You looked good tonight...like you were having lots of fun "smiled Angeless as they walked around.

"Ditto....I never even knew you could dance. I mean like every party we've been to you were usualy sitting down drinking or talking...I actualy had a good time with you "smiled Jenny.

He was having a stretch while they walked and was just doing his arms.

"What...so just cos I sit around at parties doesn't mean I can't dance. Why are you so surprised you can have fun with me? "he asked has he let his arms drop to his sides?

Jenny laughed and was about to say something else when it began to pour with rain. She grabbed his hand and dragged him under the cover of a nearby tree. He pulled off his coat and put it around her.

"When did you get so romantic all of a sudden? I mean slow dancing...flowers "laughed Jenny.

"I've always been romantic...Just never around you...and you "he didn't get to finish his sentace as she gave him a quick kiss.

"Shut up....you're spoiling it...this time I want a dance with nobody interrupting "she smiled as she put her arms around his waist.

The slowly danced under the cover of the tree. When they headed back to the tree house they were both drenched.

"Wow...what happened to you two? "asked Kai spotting the lipstick on Angeless's lips?
Jordy was laughing and joking with Zeke in one of the corners of the tree house. They were supposed to be doing something but… both of them had pretty much forgotten exactly what that something was. When Kai spoke up from the other side, Jordan’s attention was drawn to the two figures now coming through the club house door.

"Wow... what happened to you two?" Kai had said.

“Oh… nothing.” Angeless almost chuckled as he looked at Jenny and gave a smile. Jordan thought he saw Jenny smile back but he wasn’t so sure. His own laughter faded away and he was sure there was no smile on his face.

“Jordy?” Zeke said questioningly.

“Huh… oh what?” Jordy answered.

“I said… don’t you think that would be funny?” Zeke repeated.

“If what?” Jordan said, still not really paying attention to his own conversation.

“If they.... oh never mind…” Zeke said, noticing the distracted look on his friend's face.

“Oh yeah…” Jordan answered as if he heard what Zeke had said, “That’d be uh… great- yeah… hilarious.” He turned back to Zeke and their little section of the tree house and forced a laugh but of course Zeke knew it was fake.

“I think she’s kind of taken you know?” Zeke said in a very quiet voice so only Jordan could hear it. “I mean… even if it isn’t… ‘official’ yet.”

Jordan turned and caught Jenny’s eye for a second before quickly turning away. She had tried to smile at him but wasn’t sure if he caught it or not.

“I'm not so sure about that. And besides- I don’t like her.” He whispered in the same low voice.

“Right, Jord… whatever lets you sleep at night.” Zeke said with a small smile, “I know you Jordan Pryce… I know that look.”

“And I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Jordan flashed Zeke his innocent grin and shrugged his shoulders with a small laugh. “Now… where were we?” He said, turning back to the piece of paper they had in front of them, pretending to study it.
Jenny's mind was on a couple of things-and athough neither of them involved romance, she knew that in some way she was going to have to make a decision. Jenny was full of secrets, and they were wearing her down invisibly-tearing her apart until sometimes she felt like it was hard to get up in the morning. But, it was a big deal who she told her secret. After all, the girls had always been there for her, and would be hurt if they weren't the first to know. Angeless would be angry if he didn't find out first, and Jordan would be equally as shamed-as he had told Jenny his most pressing secret. Kai wasn't prone to taking secrets well-in fact, Jenny was positive he would either run away or laugh at her before she told him the whole story. The only person Jenny didn't have to worry about was Zeke--so of course, he was the one she asked advice.

Cornering him at a random point in the day wasn't very hard. With so many people talking and laughing, it wasn't noticeable that the two would be deep in conversation. Sitting down in the corner of the treehouse, Zeke and Jenny had their first one-on-one talk in a long time.

"Wow, this feels kind of weird," Zeke laughed, looking over at his other friends. "I mean, it's usually me and Jessica, or me and one of the guys...you and me? Well, I'm glad it's you and me." He laughed. "What's up."

Jenny was holding a towel around her clothes, which had previously gotten soaked when she and Angeless were outside. She struggled to wrap it tighter around her. "Zeke. Can I ask your advice?" She was so serious, it almost hurt her physically.

Zeke looked a little taken aback, but like the good caring friend he was, tried to hide it. "Uh, yeah, sure Jen. Anything you want. Is everything okay?"

Genevieve looked around the room and noticed Angeless's eyes flickering to the corner now and again-even if he was talking to Kai. Jenny turned back to Zeke quickly.

"Oh yeah, yeah. Everything's fine. I, um, just needed to kind of talk to someone a little bit, you know..."

Zeke put on a sly grin. "Shouldn't you be talking to Angeless?"

Jenny's face went a little pale. "See-that's just it." She looked at her towel and at her soggy, wet clothes. "It's not that I don't want to talk to him-it's just that..."

"You need someone to tell first, to test the reaction?" Zeke nodded his head and laughed. "I know what you mean, Jenny. Sometimes I feel that way about talking to Jessica, so I tell Jordan stuff first. It's a natural thing, I guess."

Jenny leaned up againt a wall, her mouth a straight line of seriousness. "Zeke-you know when something has happened to you, and you want to pretend it never happened, so you ignore it, even though it's impossible to ignore?"

Zeke looked a little confused and said, "Genevieve, what is going on?"

"I just need you to tell me, Zeke, that no matter what happens, our friends will always be there."

"Jenny, what's the matter?"

"Nothing-I just need to hear it come out of your mouth."

"We'll always be there, Jen. No matter what." Zeke looked into Jenny's eyes expectantly. Hadn't she come here to tell him something in confidence? But now that she sat here, she couldn't quite get anything out of her mouth.

Instead, she stood up quickly. She felt a little dizzy but didn't sway or sink. "Thanks, Zeke. That's all I needed to hear." She attempted a smile, and was about to walk away when Zeke grabbed her arm.

"Jen, I think there's something you should know."

"Sure, hit me with it. I am the official secret-keeper, now." Genevieve genuinely smiled.

Zeke gave a nervous laugh and lowered his voice, "Jordan's falling for you."

Genevieve's face went white. "Jordan?"

"Are you okay?" Zeke took Genevieve's arm, but she pulled away.

After a silence Jenny said, "Tell Jordan that I would only hurt him-and I....." she paused, tightly clutching the towel. Her voice had come out unsteadily. "And tell him..he's much too good of a guy to get mixed up with me." A bit of color came back into Genevieve's face. "I'll give you a secret to keep, Zeke. You know why I can live with Angeless liking me? Because he has a darker side that keeps him safe from me. But I couldn't live with Jordan liking me-he's sweet and kind and honest. I would ruin him."

Genevieve looked over to Jordan, trying to catch his eye-but he wouldn't look up from what he was doing. "And I'll give you another secret, Zeke. I'm in love with both of those boys-and for opposite reasons." Jenny shook her head. "If anyone asks, I went home."

"Don't you think in light of recent events, you should have a partner to walk you home?" Zeke asked her.

"No," Jenny forced a laugh and pointed to the sky. "Bullies are afraid of the rain. It makes them melt."

Genevieve walked out of the treehouse, heading back home. Zeke just stood in silence, not even nodding his head. His gaze kept going from Angeless to Jordan. It seemed as if he, too, were making a decision. Finally he went up to his friend Jordy.

"At some point, you need to tell her you have a crush on her," Zeke said, patting Jordan on the back. "And-you need to find out what' she's hiding."

Jordan looked up at Zeke, color rising in his face. "Okay, man, look. Number 1- I do not have a crush on her, and Number 2-maybe she's not hiding anything. It's been pretty stressful for us all the last couple of weeks."

"Put your pride away, Jordan. If you love her, you'll help her."

Jordan turned silent, and the two boys spent the rest of the afternoon looking over plans in forced enthusiasm.

Zeke hated himself right now. Being the good friend he was, he would always look after his friends, but if it came to things like Jenny was telling him, it stretched him out too thin. he sat down, exhausted from thinking.

Jessica saw the worry on his face and sat down beside him, stroking his hair. Zeke pulled her closer to him and nuzzled her neck. She let out a ticklish laugh. Zeke looked up at her and smiled.

Their plans were into their final stages when Zeke realised what time it was.

"We need to head home guys," he said. They all agreed and quickly filed out. Zeke and Jessica were the last to leave. They walked to Jessica's house hand in hand. Tomorrow would be prom, and then they could take their leave.

Zeke and Jessica shared a final goodnight kiss before he left. He walked the rest of the way home, and went to bed. And had more feverish nightmares.

Like always.
SATURDAY Jun 17:

Jessica woke up late Saturday morning and arrived late at the tree house. The gang had decided to meet once more Saturday morning to go over the last of their plans. The rest of the day they had agreed, as not to ruin the surprise, they wouldn't meet up until later that night at prom.

As Jessica entered the tree house everyone looked at her as if to ask where have you been but n one said anything to her directly.

"Sorry I'm late, slept in," Jessica said as if feeling the need to explain why she was late.

"Okay lets get this straight. Jenny said in a serious tone. Today is prom, everyone nodded. Tomorrow are all the parties and stuff, Monday we pack and get ready, and finally on Tuesday you're all coming to my soccer game and afterwards we leave and head down to florida."

"I still can't believe you rented us a condo," said Jo shaking her head in disbelief.

"One more thing, how are we going to get there? Should we take two different vehicles?" asked Jordan.

"I have a car that seats eight, said Jess. Besides I think we should all travel together."

"Yeah are you sure we won't kill each other before we get there,?" Jenny asked and everyone started laughing.

By the end of their meeting it was agreed that they'd all take Jess's huge van and take driving in shifts.

"Okay we'll I guess I'll see you all tonight!" I said happily as I climbed down the ladder and headed off for the salon.

I couldn't wait I had the absolute perfect dress that looked like this : http://www.ssb7.net/users/24164/redoffshoulder2.jpg and my hair was supposed to look like this: http://www.ljstyles.com/111Pictures/Up_Dos_prom/prom_updo014b.JPG and here's the back: http://www.ljstyles.com/111Pictures/Up_Dos_prom/prom_updo014c.JPG

Jessica was hoping that tonight would be like a fairy tale and was beyond excited.


*these aren't my real prom pictures I just wanted you to get a feel of what I'll look like at prom in the story!*
As Andrea was walking home she had a lot on her mind, she was excited and nervous about prom all at the same time. She loved her dress: http://www.pacitec-supplies.com/photo/p541/p5.jpg and had a great hairstyle: http://gallery.hairboutique.com/whgallery/whgallery011.JPG but she still felt a little uneasy but she couldn't figure out why.

Ignoring the slight pang of uneasyness in her stomach Andrea started getting ready to go to the salon to get her nails, hair and make-up done. Her mom had given her the money to get it all done. When I asked her why all she said was I want you to experiance what I never did. Andrea didn't question what her mother meant by this because she was going to be late if she didn't head out the door now.

Andrea was going over to Jess's later and Zeke and Jordan were going to pick them up around 7:00pm. Then they were all going to meet in the auditoritum. All andrea could do was hope that tonight would be one of the best of her life.

*Like Glamgirl12 these aren't my real prom pictures I just wanted you to know what I'll look like in the story*
Jordan wasn’t as hyped about prom as some of the girls, but he was pretty excited he guessed. Well he was as excited as he would ever be about dressing up to go to a dance. He looked all grown up in his tux and he had the vest and tie to match Andrea’s dress perfectly.

His aunt was taking pictures of him in his tux while he waited for Zeke to come pick him up and take them both to Jessica’s house.

“You’re just handsome.” She said smiling.

“Aww you’re just saying that.” Jordan said, sitting down on the couch.

“No really,” His aunt said as she took a seat next to him. “I am so proud of the man you’re becoming.” She said. “I couldn’t ask for a better kid to raise.” Her eyes were a bit teary as she leaned in to kiss his cheek. “Love ya kid.” She said softly.

“I love you too,” He said, “You know I owe so much to you.” She just hugged him closely. The thought ran through his head, and before he could stop himself, Jordan was already talking, “If I needed to go away for a little bit… would you worry about me?”

She sat up, “And just where would you be going?” She asked.

“Well… we had this crazy idea,” He started, smiling a little, “we’re going to… well run away I guess. We’re going down to Florida.” He laughed, “Don’t know why but, we all just wanted to be with each other before everything changes and we go off in separate directions you know?”

“I know Jordy,” She sighed and smiled, “Just… promise me you’ll be safe okay? And send me a postcard, okay?”

“Yeah… I promise.” He said smiling. “I would never want to worry you.”

They hugged again and just then the doorbell rang. Zeke stood in the entry way and they had to be forced to take just a few more pictures together before the two boys set off towards Jessica’s house, finally feeling the hype for prom.
Jenny's mother wasn't the kind who took pictures or who doted over her daughter on special occassions. Angeless's family, too, didn't find prom especially exciting.

"I'll be happy for you when you get prom queen," Jenny's mom said, staring at the television while little Sabine tottered around the house.

"Mom, you know you have to watch out for her! She's always getting into things." Despite her brand new, flaming red dress and stylish updo, Genevieve picked up her darling little sister and put her in her playpen.

"Oh yes, I'll watch out for her."

The doorbell rang. Angeless was here to pick Jenny up.

"You look beautiful," he said, moving his eyes up and down her figure. He grinned almost mischeviously.

"You're quite dashing yourself," Genevieve answered. She smiled half-heartedly. Although she was excited about going to prom-she didn't like the idea of meeting up with some of her classmates.

Truthfully, she couldn't wait until prom had ended. There were always the after parties to look forward to. And Jenny could drink, dance, and flirt with the best of them.

Angeless looked at Genevieve wearily as they stepped into the limo. "You aren't going to be too wild tonight are you? I don't want to have to carry you home."

Jenny laughed, but wickedly. "Angeless-this is prom. I'm going to be as wild as I have to be." Jenny laughed as he shook his head, and reached over him to straighten his tie. As she leaned in, a slight evil spirit came over her. She put her face close to Angeless's neck, barely brushing her lips over his skin.

"You look wonderful enough to eat," she said, and felt proud at the surprised and bothered look on his face. She pulled away, oddly giddy and anxious at the same time. Something was certainly right about being with Angeless, but something was certainly wrong.

"Anyway, we'll both be on up stage tonight. And I intend on beating that witch Claire in the final running." Genevieve went back to her cool demeanor.

"Oh don't worry, Jen," Angeless said, turning strangely sweet. "You'll knock 'em dead."

Genevieve laughed and relaxed-excited at the prospect of seeing her other friends. "They'll look so handsome...and beautiful," she thought.

The limo went on into the night and Genevieve and Angeless rocked out until their arrival.
As Zeke pulled into Jessica's driveway, he suddenly felt very excited. And nervous. He and Jordy got out of the car and headed for the door. Jordy rang the doorbell and waited, a little antsy.

Jessica's mom answered the door and ushered the boys in. They stood in the foyer, awaiting Jessica's and Andrea's arrival from upstairs. Andrea came down first.

She looked stunning. Her lime dress gave a sense of sereneness and at the same time giddyness. Then Jessica came down. Zeke's mouth hit the floor. She was breathtaking. She grinned at him when she saw his face.

She walked over to him and gave him a small kiss. Then Jessica's mom insisted that they take like 30,000 pictures(extreme exageration) and then they were off to prom and to destiny.

"Ummm...excuse me?" a voice from behind said.

Andrea and Jessica turned around to see an attractive guy whom they had never seen standing before them.

"I was told you could probably tell me where I could find JoAnna Anderson," he said.

"Ummm...yeah. I believe she's working down at the coffee shop this morning. I'm not sure why cause prom's tonight, but that's Jo," Andrea answered.

"Why do you need her?" asked Jessica.

"It's a private matter." With that, the mysterious man walked away leaving the two in their thoughts.

~*~*~*~*~*~~~~******~~~~~~

"Are you excited for prom? I heard you were going w/ Kai. Are you?" Carrie, one of Jo's fellow employees, asked her while they were on their break.

"Yes, I am going with Kai and Yes. This prom's going to be perfect," she answered as she took a sip on coffee.

"Of course!! What's your dress look like?"

"Well," Jo described it to Carrie as detailed as possible. Jo was so proud of her dress. She had orginally bought it and a thrift store, but then used some basic sewing skills, turning it into something grand. Simple but grand.

Before Carrie could say anything, a guy Jo had never seen before came up to their table.

"I was told at the register that I would find JoAnna Anderson here," he said.

"Umm...I'm Jo. Do I know you?" she asked, a little nervous.

"No, not yet anyway. I need to talk to you about some important things. Privately," he answered, directing the latter to Carrie.

"Umm...I better get back to work anyway. Talk to ya later, Jo," Carrie said as she got up and walked back over to the counter.

"May I sit down?" the man asked as soon as Carrie was out of earshot.

"Of course."

"Well, let's get down to business. My name is Nate Fauber and I'm your step-brother."

Nate went on to explain that her father had died a little after her parents had left and that her mother had remarried his father. And that just a few weeks ago, her mother had been diaginosed with cancer. She had sent Nate out to find Jo and to apologize, in hopes of maybe rekindling their relationship.

There went Jo's perfect prom.

(Here's a pic of Jo's dress. It's orange!! I love it. http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/edressme_1908_13256828)

Jessica,Zeke,Andrea, and Jordan all filed out of Jess's house got into their white strecth limo and headed off to prom.

"You guys are just going to love what we did this year, it's so cool!" was all Andrea said for the rest of the ride, but you could tell she wanted to spill her guts.

Once they arrived they made they're grand entrance in style, there was a red carpet set up for everyone to walk down leading to the main doors.

As Jessica walked to the entrance beside Zeke she felt excited and nervous at the same time. She was excited that she was a great time but nervous at all the stuff could go wrong.

She didn't have any more time to think because they were entering the building. as soon as she saw the scene in front of her she knew this was going to be a night to remember.
When Andrea walked through the doors and looked at the scene before her it was better than she had ever invisioned it. Even though she was on porm comittie they didn't need her to help set up.

The theme this year was set up to look like a ball. There was a refreshment tabel set up on one side that looked like a banquet with an ice swan in the middle, the portrait backdrop was an outside scene with a horse and carriage and a cascading waterfall. The best part about the whole thing was the dance floor it really gave you the feeling you were dancing in Cinderella's castle.

The best suprise's of the night would come later, but for now Andrea just wanted to find the others and watch people's expressions as they walked through the doors.
"Wow...they really went all out this year....wonder if I can get that Song list smuggled into the playlists "sighed Angeless thaughtfully.

Jenny only just realised what he'd said and her sense of him doing something reckless was kicking in.

"Wait what song???? "asked Jenny with her sceptical look?

He shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

"What if god smoked Cannibus? I couldn't find my tennacious D cd... "sighed Angeless glancing around for the other.

That was yet another perk of being a good head taller than the majority of the year.

"You lent me that CD a few weeks ago...well goodluck to you getting that into their playlist "laughed Jenny.

"Hey...I was wondering do you think Jessica would mind hooking my bike up to her Van. That way I could take you out and about if you want to "smiled Angeless as he picked up a drink for them both.

"Meh...Ask her...she probably won't mind. Just as long as you don't scratch the paint work "smiled Jenny.

He spotted Zekes head moving closer to them. It would have seemed that he'd spotted Angeless's head from the other side of the hall.
After Zeke had complimented the way she and Angeless looked, Jenny walked away from the two boys. She felt as if she needed time away from the group before their long trip together. Maybe someone new and fresh for awhile. Jenny started dancing with a couple of boys that were on the basketball team. The music was bringing her to a high, and she couldn't help but start to have fun. After awhile though, she realized that her place was with her group.

"I haven't even seen what the other girls' dresses look like!" she said, wiping her forehead and flashing her pearly white teeth. "I can't wait until they announce king and queen. Angeless and I will look spectacular up there" As Jenny walked back to where she and Angeless had been standing, she suddenly ran into Jordan.

"Oh, hey!" Jenny gave him a quick hug. "Don't you look handsome!"

"Thanks," he responded half-heartedly.

Even though the lights were dim, Jenny could tell that something was wrong. "Are you okay?" she yelled above the music and the shouts. "You should be having a good time, this is prom!"

Jordan's face brightened a bit.

"Where's Andrea?" Jenny laughed. "Don't leave her alone, she might get anxious."

"I think she's in the bathroom," Jordan responded.

"Well, come on, we'll wait for her over here." Jenny grabbed his and hand and dragged him over to Angeless and Zeke.
Zeke saw Jenny coming back with Jordy in tow. 'I hope Angeless doesn't get the wrong vibe from that,' he thought. But Angeless just smiled when he saw them walk up. He grabbed Jordy by the head and gave him a noogy.

Jordy quickly got out of Angeless' head-lock and returned the favor. They both chuckled at it. Jenny just smiled as she watched the two. It was good that they didn't know. Zeke just sighed, right as Jessica walked up.

"Bored already, my Izzy?" she asked, joshingly and lovingly. Zeke replied by pulling her close and kissing her.

"Not on your life," he said."Let's dance." So the two of them hit the dance floor, just as their favorite slow song came on. They held each other the whole time while the song played. Zeke whispered in her ear.

"I love you."
Without a moments hesitation Jessica whispered back "I love you too." She felt so secure and safe here in Zeke’s arms she never wanted to let go.

So far nothing amazingly had gone wrong. Everyone was having a great time and the night was just getting started.

Zeke and Jessica danced a while longer and then the song ended.

“I’m going to go get some punch,” Zeke said and headed over to the table.

Jessica just stood off to the side and watched her fellow classmates when someone came up behind her. Jessica turned around and saw a girl who she’d never even seen before who was wearing an angry expression.

“Can I help you?” Jessica asked politely.

“Don’t play sweet with me Jenny, you know why I’m here...” the girl started to reply.

“Wait I’m not Jenny...”Jessica started but the girl cut her off.

“Don’t lie to me, I know who you are. You stole my boyfriend, the only thing that mattered to me, and now you must pay”

By this time a few people were staring because this girl was quite loud, and Jessica still couldn’t figure out how this girl had mistaken her for Jenny. They looked totally different, but apparently this girl was to much of a dunderhead to notice.

Jessica’s thoughts were interrupted by a hard slap across the face that took her by surprise. Jessica regained composer and straightened ready to retaliate.

“Listen I don’t know who you are, or why you just slapped me but if you don’t back the f*** off I’m going to have to hurt you.” Jessica said her voice filled with rage.

By now almost everyone was watching but no one was stepping into help. ‘Where were her friends?’ was all Jessica was thinking.
Andrea had gone into the bathroom to do some thinking when she ran into head of prom committee and they started talking about the decorations and how extravagant the place looked. By the time she had come out there has seem to be what looked like a dance circle. As Andrea got closer she noticed it was a fight... and Jess was in it.

‘ Just when things were going nicely, two girls try to kill each other’ Andrea thought to herself.

Andrea saw her friends across the room and rushed over to them.

“Has it occurred to you that there is a fight going on and one of you’re best friends is in it, and you’re all standing here like nothing is happening? “ Andrea practically screamed as she reached her friends.

That was all that needed to be said, in a flash her friends were pushing through the crowd trying to reach the girls.

All Andrea could do was watch from the side hoping Jess was all right.
Angeless hopped up out of his seat and shrugged. He could see the ring but not who was in it.

"Zeke you owe me a 20 "laughed Angeless taking the lead.

"True you won the bet but...its also a draw. Two girls started it "laughed Zeke.

Angeless was always usful. He used to be qauter back for the school team before the coach kicked him off for reckless tackling. He pushed through the ring and the others followed.

"What the? Clair? What the hell are you doing? "asked Angeless stepping between the two?

"YOU! "shouted Clair as she punched him round the face.

He hit the ground hard and was stunned slightly. Who the hell taught that girl how to punch? He got up and raised his fist. Even his own morals wouldn't let him hit a girl. He lowered his fist and looked behind him. He touched hip lip and could taste the blood.

"Allow me "smiled Jenny Stepping in.

Jenny Slapped Clair once and left a big red mark.

"Thats for Having a go at Jessica "hissed Jenny.

One punch later and Jenny was shaking her hand quickly. Clair splayed out on the floor.

"And that was for making my Boyfr...Date bleed!! "Sighed Jenny.

Angeless was helping Jessica up and hand her over to Zeke so he could take care of her.

"Damm...your ex's head is thicker than she looks. That really hurt! "laughed Jenny as she put her arm around him.

"Come and sit down...I'll get you some ice "smiled Angeless.

He came back with some ice wrapped up in a cloth. She was sat down in his chair twizzling a straw between her fingers. He knelt down infront of her and pulled of his tuxido jacket. He was wearing his short-sleeved shirt again. The wing tattoo's showing even throught the shirt.

"Thanks Angel cakes... "smiled Jenny as she kissed his cheek.

They had somehow found a quiet corner of ther room and were trying not to be to open about what they were doing.
"Jess... I can't believe you did that... you- in a fight!" Jordy was getting a kick out of this, laughing as Zeke tried to fix her up.

"Jordy- not neccessary..." Zeke snapped back to him.

"Whatever..." Jordan said still smiling, "It's still funny... I for one am proud, Jessica." He said turning back to her.

"Thanks Jordan," She said almost mockingly but with a smile. It was Jordy after all, and they had been friends forever so she knew what thoughts ran through his head sometimes. "But you know I only did it because that bitch started it." She said a little more pissed off, "Could've taken her too if -"

"Hey.." Zeke cut in, "Don't worry about it. "You fought brilliantly." He smiled and gave her a small kiss on the cheek as he helped her to her feet. That sunk Jordan's good mood a little.

He had been having an okay time at prom so far, nothing too special had happened and watching all the couples as they danced, hugged, kissed and held eachother wasn't really helping him to feel any better about his current relationship status.

"Don't look now but..." Zeke said, motioning with his eyes accross the room as Jessica was pulling him back to the dance floor with a smile on her face.

"Don't you kids have too much fun!" Jordy called out to them before he looked over in the direction Zeke had motioned.

In directing his eyes to the scene in the corner, he passed over Kaio and Jo dancing to a fast song and seeming to have a pretty good time. He paused on them for a second and smiled. Jo had gotten off to a little bit of a rough start to prom it seemed, Jordan wasn't sure exactly what had happened, but she seemed okay now for the most part.

Over in the corner where Zeke had motioned, Jordan found Jenny and Angeless. Jenny was sitting on his lap and they were smiling and talking. Jordan shook his head and looked the other way, knowing it was none of his buisness to let his vision impede on their scene.

"Hey Jordan." It was Andrea, he turned around and smiled at her, trying not to think too much about Jenny. He kept telling himself he didn't like her, but so far that wasn't doing him any good.

"Hey Drea." He said to her still smiling.

"You know, I just love this song." She said softly, looking away from Jordan for a second, as a slow song came over the sound system. She looked back at him and smiled.

"I would be honored if you would dance with me Andrea." He said with a charming smile and extended a hand towards her direction. Jordan thought she might have blushed a little when she smiled. She took his hand and he led her out to the dance floor.

"Where did you learn to dance?" She asked him after a few minutes.

"Here and there," He said with a look on his face that suggested he had a secret.

"You're great you know." She said. But to this Jordan said nothing. "Oh for once you don't have a witty comeback?" She laughed a little.

"Well... I'm glad at least you think that..." he said more seriously.

"Why the sudden downturn?" She asked as he twirled her around.

He smiled, "Nothing..." The song ended and a fast song came on again.

"I was never really one to like the fast songs." Andrea shouted over the music. Jordan smiled and nodded, not one for the fast songs himself. He motioned for the door and held out his hand again, she took it, and they made their way for one of the doors.

"Nice night." Jordan said once they were outside, taking a seat on a planter box and tilting his head skyward.

"Yup..." Andrea said.

"Look Drea, I just want to get things clear with you so you don't get the wrong idea... I mean, I know you're a little... fragile." he said, trying to be honest with her, "And I love you for it D- really I do... but, I don't want you to get the wrong idea about me and you..." And just then she started laughing.

"Jordan." She said between laughs, "We're on the same page okay?" She said still laughing.

"Oh." He said, "Oh right." He smiled and tried to laugh a little.

Once she stopped laughing, she noticed how embarrassed he was. "I guess I should say I'm sorry I gave you the wrong idea." she said still giggling.

He sighed, "Let's just pretend this never happened okay." He said smiling, "We'll have a good time."

"Yeah... this never happened," She smiled, "Come on, I think I hear a good song playing."

They went back inside and started dancing again. Jordan was glad it ended up she didn't like him as anything more than a friend- that would only have made things even more complicated.

Another slow dance came on.

"I'm a little tired," Andrea said, "Mind if I sit this one out?"

"Not at all," Jordan replied with a smile, "Mind if I take this dance with someone else?"

"Not at all." She smiled. He walked her over to a seat on the outside of the floor, brought her a drink and then scanned the dance floor for who he was looking for- Jenny.

He spotted Angeless over the heads of the rest of the people on the floor and new Jenny had to be there too. He made his way through the people to where they were.

"Hey Angless," Jordy said causually, tapping him on the shoulder, "Mind if I cut in?"

Angless smiled and winked at Jenny then said "Nah, have fun." He patted Jordy on the head as he made his way towards the back.

Jordan offered his hand to Jenny who gladly took it.

"Hey." He said softer and with a smile as they started to dance, "Fancy seeing you here."
Jenny was drunk from dancing, drunk from happiness, drunk with the idea that she had friends who loved her, friends who wanted to protect her from enemies like Claire. After she had slapped the little bitch, she had felt a wave of adrenaline rushing through her veins that wouldn't leave. She and Angeless had sat a little bit, given each other small kisses that didn't make Jenny burn with fire, but that weren't unpleasant either. They spoke little, laughed a lot, and danced like no in the world was watching.

The noise from the music and the dancers was deafening: everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives. Jenny saw friends and aquaintances yell, shout, sing: some of her better known classmates seemed to already be intoxicated.

"Hey, stay away from the punch!" Jenny laughed at Angeless as a girl Jenny knew saw her and tried to give her a kiss. Jenny brushed her off and pushed her over in the direction of a chair. "Seems to have been tampered with!"

Angeless laughed with her and sped up with the rhythm of the music. Jenny felt her face burning with happieness as his rough hands touched her smooth arms. Suddenly she heard a voice next to Angeless.

"Mind if I cut in?"

Jenny knew it was Jordan before she even saw him. He took her hand and they started dancing. "Fancy seeing you here."

Jenny laughed, but felt an awkward calm descend on her. Where seconds ago she had been wild and loud, she now felt serene and a little tired.

"Why, Jordan!" she said in mock surprise, as the two danced. "I didn't think you'd want to be alone with me again after seeing me take on that wildebeast."

Jordan laughed. "If you call a dainty girl with flowers in her hair a wildebeast, I'd hate to see how you'd hold up in a real fight."

In her second fit of flirtatious daring for the night, Jenny stepped closer to him, letting her ginger and vanilla perfume float gently in his direction. "Yeah, but you should have seen the fingernails on her..."

Jordan laughed but stopped self-conciously as the song went from a fast number to a slow one.

"Well, I guess...," he started, letting go of Jenny's hand and backing away, flushed.

"Oh, don't be so scared of me, Jord," Jenny laughed softly, grabbing his hand again. "Angeless can have the next dance. Besides, you're not much of a 'fast song' dancer, and he's not much a 'slow song' dancer. I'll give you one more chance to prove your great rhythm to me."

Jordan smiled and tentatively put his arms around Jenny's waist. She couldn't help but smile. She put her mouth near his ear.

"Sometimes you're too gentle for your own good, Jord." She closed her eyes and pushed her body up so that it barely touched Jordans. "That's why I'm asking you to give up on me."

Jordan pulled back in surprise, his eyes wide and a little angry. "What the hell do you mean?"

Putting a hand up to his face, Jenny laughed-feeling dizzy with prom night. "As much as I love you, Jordan, you're not wild enough to handle me. See Angeless over there?"

The couple looked at Angeless, who gave a deep booming laugh as a friend near him said something funny. He wans't paying attention to Jordan and Jenny.

"What about him?" Jenny could see Jordan's face closing up. That deathly look he had when something unpleasant was about to happen to him. He was closing up.

"Don't do that!" Jenny suddenly said: a little too loudly. "Don't close up on me yet! God, don't you remember that I'm the one you can talk to? I'm trying to tell you something now."

Jordan's face became a little more forgiving, and his hands rested a little tighter on Jenny's hips.

"There you are...." Jenny laughed looking back into his eyes. "You scared me for a minute. Anyway- this is what I mean. When bad things happen to Angeless he becomes rough and hard and distant. Cold, even. He never lets himself care about anything fully, you see? Nothing means life and death to him. You, on the other hand have that ability to invest yourself fully in something. You tend to love something with your whole soul and being: and well, if it doesn't work out, it breaks you."

"Are you calling me weak?" Jordan asked, not either taking offense or being beaten. "Because, really that's not a way to make me trust you."

"No, I'm giving you a different type of strength." Jenny said, smiling. "You have the courage to give yourself up to something you want-and while it's a wonderful courage-with me it would be wasted."

Jordan forced a laugh. "You always think everyone's in love with you, don't you Genevieve?" His face was flushed and his eyes shone angrily. "You think that just because I came over to dance with you, I suddenly want to kiss you and have you all to myself?!"

"Well?" Jenny asked frankly, her eyes shining as brightly as his. "Don't you?"

Jordan stopped dancing and took his hands away from her. "Yes," he answered.

"Don't." Jenny said. "Just stop..."

"You don't just stop loving someone."

"You'll be hurt by me..." Angeless had noticed the two stopped dancing and was making his way through the crowd to come back over.

Jordan shot a look at him, and a look at Genevieve. His voice was steady, and a little angry. "And I think you're just scared, Jen. You're scared of being unsure. Maybe you do love me back...what would you do then? You'd be trapped. Let me tell you something: I won't give up. Even if it does break me, like you say it will. This isn't something negotiable....." But before he could say another word, the DJ had stopped playing music and came over the intercom.

"AND NOW-LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE SPRING PROM'S KING AND QUEEN!..."

Amid loud cheers and hoots, Jenny saw Jordan walk away. "Wait, Jordan!" she screamed. But he got lost among the crowd, and before Jenny knew it, Angeless was back at her side.
Zeke had seen the 'fight' Jenny and Jordy were having. And, with his keen sense of hearing, knew what was being said. 'Oh, crap,' was all he could think.

"AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ITS TIME TO ANNOUNCE THIS YEARS PROM KING AND QUEEN!"

Zeke looked up at the podium, trying to look interested, but it didn't help. Something nagged him, and it wouldn't stop.

He saw Jordan coming to him from one end, and Jenny coming from the other. They had not seen each other.

'Why does this happen to me?'
Out of the corner of her eye Jessica saw Jenny walking over to Zeke but she didn’t think much of it because prom king and queen were going to be announced soon.

The announcers voice boomed over the speakers “Our prom queen for this year is *drumroll* Genevieve Peyton!” Everyone in the crowd cheered. Jenny stopped dead in her tracks seeming to realize what had happened. She made her way up to the stage looking less than thrilled. The crown was placed on her head and she stepped to the side. “Now for our prom king *drumroll* Jordan Pyrce!” Once again the crowd cheered and Jordan made his way to the stage in pure shock. The crown was placed on his head and he moved over and stood next to Jenny.

Jessica was expecting to see smiling faces on her friends not scowls. Clearly something had happened and Jessica had totally missed it.

Sometimes life shot you in the back.... Kai watched the faces of his friends as they stood side by side on stage. He could almost see the tension that eminated from the pair. Jorden was trying and failing to smile, to create the normal illusion. He guessed for most of the people it worked, seeing as most people were grinning still... Jen had a perfect smile pasted to her face, one that didn't reach her eyes. What was going on? It was between the two of them, or at least that's what he guessed....

"Kai..." Jo was by his side with a frown furrowing her brow slightly. She had been tense for most of the evening, only loosening up towards the last few dances, "Something's up..."

"Yeah...." He rubbed his bare arms, a nervous habit he'd never kicked, "Think it's bad?"

"I suspect it's worse..."

He smiled slightly, loving the way her lips curled up in response. She was stunning tonight.... Not that she wasn't most of the time.... He'd noticed more and more lately that he saw her different from the others.... Glancing up at him, he caught her eyes and held them there... The est of the world momentarily forgotten as tentitively he took her hand and smiled again....

Sometimes Life kicked you in the back, but it often gave a hand to help you to your feet after....
"Atleast a nice guy won "smiled Angeless calmly taking a sip of his drink.

"You had something to do with this didn't you "asked Kai quietly?

Angeless smiled his characteristic smirk.

"I knew I wouldn't win...ya know I dumped Clair. I knew she'd spread rumors about me making sure I wouldn't win....so I made sure Jo would. He's a friend and I wanted to something nice "smiled Angeless.

Kai was looking at him with mild surprise.

"Hmm maybe you do have a sense of morality in that head of yours. Just don't tell either of them what you did...Jenny'll knock you out "smirked Kai.
Jordan was standing up on stage next to Jenny, trying not to look too surprised or angry or uneasy or anything out of the ordinary. He stole a look at Jenny and noticed she was waving to friends, smiling and looking genuinely excited, but Jordan knew better than that.

“And now… for the dance.” The announcer said after the crowns and sashes had been placed. And this… Jordan was not looking forward to.

The two of them took the floor and the spotlight. They would start off the song and then everyone else would eventually join, that’s how it worked. It was a slow song. Jordan closed his eyes and sighed, placing his hands on Jenny’s waist once again. She wrapped her arms around him and they started dancing.

“Congratulations.” He said in a downtrodden tone. He really was happy for her but… now was not the time he supposed.

“Thanks…” She said, in a normal quiet Jenny voice. Jordan supposed she felt bad about this all and wanted to try and fix things- some good that would do. “And you…” She said, trying to smile at him, but Jordan wouldn’t look her in the eyes. “It fits you.” She said, looking away.

“No it doesn’t.” Jordan said. “It doesn’t fit me at all. This isn’t me Jenny; I’m not this popular… I’m not this fake...”

“How could you say something like that?” Jenny asked him, getting an edge on her voice. “Fake?” She asked harshly.

“I guess it’s just not my scene.” Jordan said, sounding a little angrier as he turned his gaze to Jenny.

“I don’t want you to be like this.” Jenny said, “I don’t want us to be like this.” She corrected, nearly pleading with Jordan to not make this so difficult.

“And you think I do?” He said getting more and more worked up. “Jenny,” He looked into her eyes now, “This was the last thing I wanted.”

“Then just stop it.” She remarked. Jordan shook his head. “Jordan-” she said quieter.

“Jenny.” He cut her off, shaking his head, “Don’t say it….”

“It won’t work.” She continued anyways, “It’s not right, can’t you see? You’ll be hurt by me…” She repeated the line from earlier, trying to make it clear to him. He stopped dancing, took his hands off of her waist and took her hand instead, looking her straight in the eyes. And this time when he spoke, he wasn’t angry, or bitter, or anything… he was just… Jordan.

“Jenny…you could never hurt me more than you already have… I just wanted a chance…” His voice faded and he turned to leave, letting go of Jenny’s hand. She tried to hold on to it just a second longer, but he pulled away. Leaving her in the middle of the crowd alone. But this time, she didn’t call out to him, or if she did- he couldn’t hear it.

Jordan walked straight for Andrea, finding her in a chair near the back. He knelt down in front of her.

“Andrea.” He started, “I am so sorry that I’m doing this to you, but… I- I just need to get away from here and I can’t bring you with me. I’m sorry, I hope you can understand.” She seemed a little saddened but nodded.

“It’s okay Jordy,” She said quietly with a small smile, “Go do what you have to do.” And with that he got up and left through the double doors out of the gym.

He was walking out of the parking lot when he heard a voice.

“JORDAN!” He turned to see Zeke standing there a little winded from trying to catch up with him. Jordan just looked at him. “Just… don’t do anything crazy- please just don’t do anything crazy.” He paused, “This is not the end of the world all right.”

“I’ll be fine.” Jordan said.

“Well, just remember… I’m only a phone call away okay?” Zeke said, pointing to his cell phone.

“Don’t worry so much.” He said with a small smile at Zeke’s friendship as he turned again to leave, disappearing into the night.
Jenny stood in the middle of the dance floor-eyes moved from her to Jordan's retreating form and back again. Jenny could take the stares-she was used to being looked at with confusion. But her head was starting to ache from stress, and her pride stung a bit. Was she truly that fake? Anyway, it didn't matter-Jordan was gone. Jenny was at a loss. What could she do but let him go? If she ran after him, she wouldn't have any comforting words to offer, but if she stood here, she was afraid he might do something drastic.

Instead of doing either, however, she walked off the dance floor, grabbed Angeless's hand and led him outside, while the crowd behind them continued to mumble and gossip.

"Where are you guys going?" Jessica ran of doors, her face flushed with heat and worry. "What was wrong with him? What is going on?"

"Nothing, Jess. We'll be right back. In the next two dances I'll come and find you."

Jessica did not look comforted, but she had no choice but to trust Genevieve and return back inside.

"What's up with you cats?" Angeless asked, running a hand through is hair. He didn't look particularly upset or put off by the performance inside, but neither did he look perfectly comfortable.

Jenny kissed him, long and hard, surprising him a little, but not catching him off guard.

"Woah, baby," he laughed when she pulled away.

"Okay," Jenny said, her face serious. "What did you feel just then?"

Angeless shrugged. "I felt like I want another one..."

Jenny's face betrayed nothing, but she looked down at the pavement beneath her shoes. "Angeless, I need a favor from you," she finally said.

"Anything, babe," he pulled her close to him, but her body was stiff and rigid. "Is something the matter?"

"Follow Jordan. And don't let him know you're following him. I would do it myself but....I'm scared that I know to much about him to really help him..."

"Jen, I don't even know what that means."

"It means, just make sure he's okay. And if he sees you--well, don't let him see you. Save him from himself."

Genevieve gave him a softer, sadder kiss on the cheek and holding the hem of her dress up, walked back to the dance floor.

Angeless didn't see it, but her eyes were distinctly filled with a mixture of dignity and disappointment.
Zeke returned inside and found Jessica. She found him instead. She walked up to him and, seeing his disheveled face, gave him a much needed loving embrace.

"What's going on?" she asked.

"I don't know. But it will work itself out. Trust me." He smiled and took her hand in his. It was time for the last dance. They danced as if it was the last dance of their lives.

Afterwards, everyone started to leave. A few lingered, but in the end, when everyone else left, only six people remained behind. Feeling the tension that had gathered, everyone remained silent.

Zeke and Jessica were holding hands. And though they thought no one was looking, Zeke saw Kai take Jo's hand in his and gave her a passionate smile.
“Guys we shouldn’t just stand here moping all night, lets make tonight count,” Jessica said trying to lighten everyone’s mood.

“Well what are we going to do?” Kai asked.

“I think we should split up, Jessica said. “Jenny and Andrea should try and go find Jordan and Angeless, make sure they don’t do anything stupid. After that you guys can do whatever you want, party or whatever. Kai, Jo, Zeke, and I will do something I haven’t figured that part out yet. Then later around 3:30am we should all meet up at the tree house for one last camp out. We can bring all the stuff we need so you guys don’t have to worry about it. What do you guys say?”

It was quite for a few moments everyone considering what Jess had just said.

After a few more moments Zeke said “I’m in” followed by Jo, Kai, and Andrea.

Everyone was looking at Jenny, “So what’s it gonna be Jen?” Jess asked.

“Alright I guess I’m in.”

“Good” Jess said, “It’s settled.”

“Come on Andrea we should get going. Oh Jess if we’re not back by 3:30 at the tree house call my cell. If I don’t answer don’t call the cops give us till 4:00 then come look for us.” Jenny had a look of fierce determination on her face as she headed to the doors with Andrea in tow.

“Hey Jen, wait” Jessica said running over to them. Jenny turned around. “Just be careful okay”

Jenny gave her a smile and then they were gone through the double doors.

Jess returned to the group “So what should we do?”
Andrea was a little wary about going with Jenny to find Jordan and Angeless but she knew it was for the best. For a while Jenny and Andrea walked in silence but then Andrea felt the need to break it.

“How do we know where we’re going?” Andrea asked.

Jenny just shrugged her shoulders in response.

“C’mon Jen what’s wrong, why are you so glum, this isn’t like you. What happened? You can tell me.” Andrea said trying to get the story out of her.

Then without any notice Jenny stopped and sunk to the ground in tears.

Andrea crouched down next to Jenny and wrapped her arms around her.

“Shhhh. Shhhh. It’s okay, tell me what’s wrong”

Kai couldn't help but feel the twinge of foreboding that ran up his neck as the two girls disappeared. He knew they'd be fine, but he also knew that 'fine' didn't always mean whole. With a slight sigh he brought his attention back to the small group that was still standing in a slight stupor.

"Anyone up for Cargo?" Kai asked with his usual smirk, "Because I've heard there's going to be some pretty awesome music down there tonight?"

Cargo was a local club that generally invested in live bands instead of scratched cds. Kaio, Angeless and Jordan had often played there with their old bassist Dylan, but since they'd lost their last memeber to his army-father, they'd simply had to settle for scoping out the talent around them. He saw Jo's face light up slightly and hoped the others would agree too.

Zeke also looked interested, which triggered something in the back of Kai's mind... Didn't he play bass? He should follow it up, see if he'd be interested in joining in for whatever brief time they were given after this.

Jessica simply beamed, she probably had bowling in mind... But they could do that later... Afterall what was more fun than trying to throw a ball down a slippery run way whilst completely hammered?

"Shall we go?"

Angeless had been trailing Jordan for the last hour. He'd forgoten how fast Jordan could drive when he was annoiyed. It bothered him that Jenny wasn't telling him what exactly was wrong. But He hadn't wanted to push it. Since he had openly admited to liking Jenny he'd felt better than he had in a very long time.

"Dammit Jordan...where are you going "He thaught as Jordan took another turn.

He saw briefly in the glare of Jordans headlights his answer. The State penatentury. He was going to see his father. When Jordan arrived he just sat in the car for about 15 minutes. Angeless decided to risk it rather than find out if his friend was hurting. He parked the bike close enough to run to if he had to chase after Jordan. He calmly walked around to the other side of the car and pulled open the door and sat down.

"Anything you want to get off your chest Jordan? "asked Angeless in that parental tone he'd gained from looking after his cousins?

"JESUS...You NEARLY GAVE ME A HEART ATTACK. "asked Jordan angry at almost having a heart attack?

"Easy I rode...and I think we need to talk "sighed Angeless leaning across and pulling the keys out of the ignition.

Jordan was looking at him like he wanted to hit him.

"All I want to know is what's going on. You know I've always been straight up with you. I'm here to help "sighed Angeless.

"So why haven't you told the others about your drug problem? "asked Jordan knowing it would srtike a nerve?

Angeless looked like he'd just been slapped hard across the face.

"How long have you known? "asked Angeless a chink in his emotional defences turning into a gaping hole.

"About 3 years...So why haven't you told any of us? "sighed Jordan feeling guilt at such a low blow.

"Cowardice probably. I guess I thaught I'd lose the only people I've cared about...and now that I've finaly told Jenny I liked her. I guess I wanted to fit in "sighed Angeless spinning his ring around on his finger.

Jordan had never realised His friend actualy felt enything for them let alone cared.

"I love Jenny to "sighed Jordan with his hand on the door ready to bolt if this went wrong.

Angeless looked stunned for a moment then started laughing.

"Holy...dude...I never thaught in a million years you liked her...I mean I didn't think you liked her type "laughed Angeless finding it hard to keep a straight face.

Jordan couldn't help but smile Angeless laughter was always contagious. After half an hour of talking had dealt with some of the standing problems.

"I can't believe this is why you've been so out of it...I mean damm. How come I didn't notice? "laughed Angeless.

"Because your attention span is shorter than mr Burton in Science "laughed Jordan.

Angeless nodded and checked his watch quickly.

"Jordan...If you care about her that much...I'll step aside...but Remember this...you hurt her I'll gut you like a chicken "smirked Angeless.

"Gut me like a chicken...where the hell did that come from "laughed Jordan.

Angeless shrugged.

"Dunno some movie on the comedy channel. But seriously...I will step aside...but if not we could always share "sighed Angeless.

"Somehow...sharing Jenny sounds painful "laughed Jordan.

"Don't usualy laugh this much till I've got atleast half a dozen joints of pot in me "laughed Angeless.
“You smoke too much.” Jordan smiled.

“Yeah that or… you don’t smoke enough…” Angeless said with a grin.

“You know I don’t smoke…” Jordan responded.

“I know… You’re too good to yourself sometimes,” Angeless laughed again, “I mean… sometimes you just gotta jack yourself up with stuff you probably shouldn’t have in the first place and go with it.”

Jordan was silent for a minute, “You should think about quitting.” He said seriously.

“And you should think about seeing your dad.” Angeless came back at him. And just like that the conversation turned from a laughing matter to a serious one.

Jordan sighed a little and shook his head, leaning back against his seat, “Jenny told you about that?”

“About what?” Angeless asked, a little confused, “She never told me anything.”

“Oh.” Jordy said, a little surprised she hadn’t spilled it to someone, especially to Angeless, “Well… how do you know about my dad then?”

“I used to read the newspapers about seven years ago…” Angeless said, trying to think back to then, “one story caught my eye… this guy went crazy- tried to kill his kid, got sentenced to jail time… the end. I only kind of remembered the name Pryce but I was never sure… thought about it when I met you but, I never thought too much of it, but you came here tonight and… I kind of put the pieces together.” Yup. Angeless was smart.

“Do you think anyone else knows?” Jordan asked.

“Nah…” Angeless said, “I didn’t even know until now…. Why’d you come here anyways? Of all places?”

“He wants to see me….” Jordan started, “I don’t know if I wanted to see him but tonight I got all worked up and thought I was just crazy enough to go talk to him, tell him what I really thought about him for all those years…”

“You should.” Angeless said, “He should know.”

“Not tonight.” Jordan said. And then they were quiet for a while until Jordan broke the silence. “She’s not in love with me.” He said simply.

“I’m sure she loves you Jordan, she loves everyone.” Angeless tried to make him lighten up a bit.

”Yeah… I’m sure she loves me too…” He spoke, “But, that’s not what I said… I said she’s not in love with me.”

“She could surprise you.” Angeless tried to reason.

“She’s hiding.” Jordan said, “There’s something she doesn’t want anyone to know, I can just feel it about her… she won’t love me because she can’t and she can’t because she thinks she doesn’t want to.”

“Are you crazy about her?” Angeless asked.

“Are you?” Jordan returned the question. Angeless was quiet. “You don’t have to say anything…”

“Hey!” Angeless said, in a brighter tone, “Let’s forget about all this for now… she’s still our friend no matter who loves her or who’s in love with her or whatever right? And well… last time I checked, it was still prom night- so what’d you say we go hit the scene?” Jordan laughed.

“Yeah all right.” He said, “I’ll help you get your bike in the back.”

The two of them got out and worked together getting Angeless’ bike into the back of Jordy’s truck. Once it was loaded, they climbed into the cab and sped off, back towards town.

Jenny couldn't stop crying. Her eyes burned with salty tears, and her ears buzzed with old voices.

"What's the matter?" Andrea kept repeating. "You can tell me."

But Genevieve's sobbing only grew louder at the genuine concern.
Andrea put her arms around Jenny and held her close. Jenny wanted to tell her everything, but a heaviness sat inside her chest.
Suddenly, headlights caught Jenny and Andrea on the sidewalk.

"Oh God," Jenny intoned. She didn't want anyone else to see her in such a state.

"Oh look!" Andrea said happily. "It's Angeless and Jordan."

This only made Jenny sob harder.

As the boys realized who was in front of them, they slowed down and came to an eventual stop. "What's the matter?" Angeless said roughly as he got out of the truck. "What happend to her? Who did this?" He ran over to Genevieve and wrapped his mucular arms around her.

"No one did anything," Andrea said. "She just broke down."

Genevieve was still crying as they continued to talk over her. Jordan parked the truck and rushed out. "What's the matter with her?"

Angeless whispered in her ear. "You have to tell us, baby. Shh...calm down. Why are you panicking?"

Genevieve's crying subdued a bit, but she continued choking on her tears. "I....hate...all...."

"You hate all what?" Jordan asked softly, standing conciously by Andrea, looking uncomfortable.

"I....hate.....all....proms."

Everyone laughed. Angeless lifted Jenny's face to kiss her but caught Jordan's eye and only pulled her closer to his body. "I love you, Jenny," he said.

"I...want...a...drink," she replied.

"I've got water in the truck," Jordan said, rushing towards the vehicle. But Jenny caught his arm, and smiled through her tears.

"No," she said, laughing and crying at the same time. "Not that kind of drink."

Again, everyone laughed. And Jenny cheered up. She planned on sitting down with Angeless and Jordan later. For now, she felt a little better. At least Jordan wasn't in danger now. And Angeless was there to protect them all. And Andrea was beside Jenny, being a good supportive friend.

As the four squeezed into the truck, Jenny rested her steal tearing face on Angeless's shoulder, and her hand on Jordan's knee (he was driving.) "What are we going to do?" she whispered.

"We're going to get through the night," Jordan answered, resting his hand on hers.

In response, Angeless kissed Jenny's cheek and patted Andrea's head. "Our girls, our girls, Jord. What the hell are we going to do with all of this damn drama?"

"Like I said," Jordan answered. "We're going to get through the night."
Zeke, Jessica, Kai, and Jo arrived at Cargo a little earlier than when the rush began. While they waited in line, which wasn't that long, Zeke's phone chirped. It was Jordan.

"Hey, man," Jordan said."Where you at?"

"We're at Cargo," Zeke replied."You sound a bit better."

"Yeah, well, I'll explain everything when we get there. We're right around the corner."

Zeke hung up with Jordy and told the others that the rest of the gang was on the way.

"Good," Kai said." We'll need Jordy and Angeless for the song."

"What song?" Jessica asked.

Zeke looked at her slyly. He then pulled a sheet of paper out of his coat.

"I've been working on this, and the four of us guys are gonna rock this place out."
Jessica just rolled her eyes, 'This should be intresting' she thought.

The four of them went inside Cargo and moved to the side to wait until the others arrived.It would probably be a while because they arrived just before the rush.

"Do you guys have to sign up to play or do you just go up there?" Questioned Jessica.

"Well..."Kai started, "It's kinda like both. Once you get here you go and see what spots are open you request it and hope they'll call you up."

"Oh okay," said Jess, "Then why don't you guys go request a spot and Jo and I will wait here for the others."

While Kai and Zeke went off to find the manager Jessica and Jo just stood there chatting.

After about 10 min. the girls heard arguing and by the tones in their voices it sounded like Kai and Zeke.

As the two girls walked in the direction of the voices Jessica thought to herself 'What have they gotten themselves in now?'
Angeless had Jordan swing by his house so he could grab his guitar and change out of his prom suit.

"what are you singing? "asked Jenny as he got into the car?

Angeless hadn't even notcied he was humming to himself.

"1000 words...why? "asked Angeless?

"Nothing...it's just I don't think I've actualy heard you sing before "smiled Jenny.

Jordan laughed.

"He used to be the lead singer in Kai's band...you've heard him sing plenty of times "laughed Jordan.

Jenny blushed.

"Oh...right. Yeah you're right "smiled Jenny looking highly embarissed.
“I told you there’s perks to being a drummer- always got the house drum set to rely on.” Jordan smiled as he finished buttoning up a shirt he was borrowing from Angeless.

“I always thought you were too nice to be a drummer...” Jenny said.

Angeless laughed, “Yeah whatever that means.” Jordan just shook his head and focused his attention to pulling out of the driveway.

The drive from Angeless’s house to the club wouldn’t be too long- but any more time in the car was too long for Jordan. Sometimes when things weren’t going right the last place Jordan wanted to be was with other people- especially with other people confined in a small area. The sooner he could get out of the car, the better. Maybe he would drown away his sorrows with some good old underage drinking but the more he thought about that idea, the less and less he liked it. And at that moment he thought he might never drink again.

At least rockin’ the place with the other guys and wailing on the drums would let him get out a little bit of his anger. So he looked forward to that and tried not to listen to the conversations going on around him.

He had to call up Zeke again to let him know that they were going to be a little later than he first thought but Zeke was cool with that. He told them to hurry though because he had already gotten them a time slot for the stage.

They parked Jordy’s truck and got out, making their way to the door. The line wasn’t too bad and they were in within three minutes.

“Jordan! Angeless!” Kai ran up to them. “We’re on!”

“What!?” Jordan yelled over the music being played by the DJ.

“We’re playing! We’re up!” He pulled Jordan and Angeless by the arms and led them away just as the other girls came up to meet Andrea and Jenny.

The girls were giggling so badly, their faces became red and they could hardly get enough air into their lungs. While the boys had started out both handsome and wonderful, something with the sound system had gone wrong in the middle of their song. However, because the crowd was roaring their approval of their music, they continued to entertain by singing accopella, slowing taking off their shirts, and basically acting ridiculous.

"You were great!" Jessica laughed, kissing Zeke. "We've never seen such a performance!"

Breathless with blond curls falling around her face, Jenny looked up at the boys and laughed. "Wow, you were the hit..."

Angeless put a hand to her flushed cheek. "Maybe someone will actually book us tonight," he growled, only half way joking. "Let's go outside, you're eyes look a little too cloudy..."
Angeless took Jenny's hand and led her outside, a smile wide on her face. "Oh, you boys only worry about me because you finaly actually saw me in a moment of weakeness. Don't worry it won't ever happen again." She winked at Jordan.

He laughed and Kai grumbled. "Dammit that song would have been awesome if we could have just finished it...

Jo laughed and talked to him, giving him little pinches and having fun with him. As the others walked along, talking, laughing and joking, Jenny drifted behind, a smile still lighting up her face. She grabbed Jordan's hand and pulled him behind with her.

"I was thinking," she said.

"I thought I smelled something burning...," Jordan laughed.

Jenny gave him a slight punch but kept on. "I was thinking about this whole situation with you and me and Angeless and how its tearing up our group, and I know what I want."

Jordan stopped, his face getting visibly whiter in the dark. "What is it, Genevieve?" He asked seriously, taking her hands and looking into her face. "That's all I've ever needed to know. What do you want?"

Jenny looked at her friends in front of her. She and Jordan would have to run to catch up with them. "I want you to answer a question seriously for me," she answered.

"Yeah, any question."

In one swift motion, Jenny pulled Jordan's mouth violently to her own, causing his breath to almost be knocked out of him. She pulled him a tight hug, and pushed her body desperately against his own.

"What did you feel just then? Answer me honestly."

Jordan, stunned and looking down at Jenny stuttered, "I...uh..."

"Tell me, Jordan. It's so important."

He stuttered into a description, "I...I...felt like my insides were burning and my nerves were going haywire and my heart was exploding. I was...am...I'm...on fire."

Jenny smiled and her bright eyes came back. "That was a much better answer than Angeless'," Jenny said. "Words are important to me Jordy. And I love the fact that you know how to use them..."

"Does that mean..."

"No! no...I just...needed to see what you would say."

Jordan remained still. He was stunnned. "You kissed me so that you could figure out who was winning in your little love game?"

"Are you angry at me Jordan? I thought you might understand..."

In an odd moment, Jordan's face went from numb to confused to ecstatic. "No, Jenny. I wouldn't expect anything else from you. This is a reason why I want you so badly. If I have to fight for it, I will..."

"You aren't fighting-I'm just deciding."

"Whatever."

As Jenny and Jordan raced back up to their other friends, they laughed and continued to have fun during the exciting night. Little did they know that someone had seen their kiss-someone who wouldn't understand at all the romance in Jenny's heart or the competitive excitement of Angeless and Jordan. The person who had seen their kiss was there only to break bonds, hurt feelings, exact revenge.

Claire was faced with a decision. When and where would she tell Angeless the news?
Claire was smiling evilly to herself. She knew she could easily break the group apart. She was hoping to get to Angeless before the group left. But she wasn't the only one to see the kiss. She was just the one who didn't understand.

For Zeke had witnessed everything. He had seen the kiss, and had seen Claire's reaction. Angeless left the group to get something to drink. Claire headed his way.

Just moments before Claire reached him, She 'accidentally' bumped into Zeke, which was his plan. She began to regret her train of thought. There was no way she'd get past Zeke.
Jessica heard a bit of commotion behind her and turned around. It was Zeke and Claire, but wait what was Zeke doing...they were too far away for Jessica to make them out clearly. She started towards them and what..??? They were HUGGING!!!!!!!!

Jessica was fuming. By the time she reached them Claire had turned around and was running in the oppisite direction. Zeke turned around and before he had a chance to say anything Jessica slapped him hard across the face and took off towards her house tears streaming down her face.

As Jessica was running her high heel snagged on something and she fell to the ground. She was so humiluated she didn't even care if Zeke had caught up with her.

"What the hell was that for?" he asked.

For a minute Jessica was too hysterical to answer but she eventually choked out "You...hug...Claire"

At first Zeke said nothing but then he laughed, only for a moment because he saw the look on Jessica's face. He then precedded to tell her about the whole thing with Jeny and Jordan, their kiss and Claire.

Jessica just sat their for a minute bewildered trying to take it all in. "I'm so stupid" she said.

"No you're not,"Zeke said encouragingly. "Just a little quick to react sometimes."

Jessica smiled gave Zeke a kiss and then made her way back to her house to get some well deserved rest after an amazing evening.
*This addition is for Matt. Since he was going to be gone for so long he sent me this addition and I thought it was a good time to put it in!*

Kai was cold. Rain was finally falling after the three weeks of sun and he was sat outside the bus stop, reluctant to move, watching as bus after bus pulled in and pulled away. His body shivered, aching through his bruises and crawling into his veins.

He hadn't gone home, knowing that it would ruin the evening, his clothes were crumpled from the night's activities and he looked terrible, he knew that. He had looked in the puddles about his feet, an ironic smirk passing across his face.

Thoughts tumbled in a confused mass of indecision. He didn't, couldn't go home after today. So much had happened. And for the first time in years he felt raw, more emotional than he had ever been before. Sleeping outside wouldn't be so bad except for the rain... He could try to go to Zeke's, seeing as he knew that the guy wouldn't ask too many questions. He didn't want pity if that was what he would give. He stared up at the sky, not knowing what to do or how to act. His battered guitar case rested against his back, comforting in it's own little musical way. He had to go somewhere. Just where?

***
"Kaio?"

It was almost dark when he finally made his way to Genevieve's front door. He nodded, slightly awkwardly in front of his friend's mum.

"Yeah, Sorry for the intrusion I just..." He ran one hand through his hair, "Is Jen in?"

"Yeah. She's upstairs with Jo. Go on right ahead, she forgot to mention you were having a slumber party."

Kai forced a smile, "Oh, sorry."

She waved him to the stairs and he drudged, his wet painful way to Jen's room. He knocked tentatively as he heard the two girls

Jen's face was a picture, actually so was Jo's but Jo managed to hide her surprise more successfully.

"Kai! What are you doing here?" Jen frowned, "Did I forget something?"

"No. No I just," He paused, not knowing what to say, "Locked myself out of my house and my dad's away so there's no way in."

Her frown deepened and even Jo must have heard the lie on his tongue. He wasn't surprised, they understood him well enough plus having known him since forever they knew he never forgot these things. But as he sat down between the bed and Jo nothing was said. Silence, awkward and miserable descended.

"When will you.."

Automatically he replied, "When I have nothing to hide."

Both girls looked at him oddly, he could almost imagine the cogs in their heads sizzling under the pressure of understanding. He had known this wasn't a good idea.

"Maybe I should go..." He began, forcing out a lopsided grin, "I could-"

"Don't be silly! Where will you go?" She grinned, "Can't let you sleep out on there all alone!"

Kai noticed the twitch in Jo as she said that, stored it in the back of his mind. He liked Jo, he knew he did; the way she smiled, the way t to see it in other people too. But he also knew that until he could tell them everything he could do nothing so he smiled faintly back at Jen.

"Thanks, you're a star." Falling back into his face he leant over giver her a quick hug, "Where would I be without you?"

"At Zeke's you dumbass!"

And they all laughed.
Jordan was sitting at his desk, staring out the window of his room, open sketch book blank in front of him. He was trying to think of everything that had happened earlier in the night and sort it all out in his head. He must’ve been there awhile because the next thing he knew- he was completing a drawing he couldn’t remember even starting.

On the right side of the drawing there was the hinting of a pond or other smooth water form, with a willow tree right on its bank. The branches were hanging down into the water. Under the tree there were two figures- a boy and a girl- wrapped up in a passionate kiss. The images from his head… Jordan couldn’t believe what he had drawn. He ripped it out of his book, crumpled it up and aimed for the trash can across the room and missed. The paper fell to the floor but he wasn’t about to move it.

He didn’t want to think about Jenny. He didn’t want to think that he could lose her little game and then it would all be over. Could she seriously have kissed him earlier and felt nothing but the desire to play with his heartstrings? He wanted to know what was going on in her mind- even a small glimpse would do.

Just then a sharp ring broke through his thoughts as his cell phone jumped around on his desk. He turned to glance at the clock- 3:45 a.m.

“Who the hell…” he started to say as he reached for his phone. He was tired. Very tired- a tired that touched both is body and his mind. The number was blocked as he looked to see who was calling.

“Hello?” he said in a weary voice.

“Jor-dy!” The voice slurred. “What are you doing man?”

“Angeless…” Jordan said, not wanting to deal with this right now, “You’re drunk- go home.”

“But I’m havin’ so much fun out here you should come over!” Angeless definitely sounded drunk.

“What have I told you? You drink too much…” He was too tired, “Look… where are you?” He asked and Angeless told him the place, “Do you need a ride somewhere?” Jordan wanted to know.

“Nah! Why would I wanna go anywhere else?” Jordan could hear some music and partying happening in the background.

“I’m coming to get you alright? Just… stay there.” Jordan hung up on him.

He went downstairs and left the house as quietly as he could and rolled out of the driveway before he started the engine. He rubbed his eyes a little as he started down the street, hoping he’d make it to Angeless.
Jenny, Jo, and Kai were asleep. They had talked only for a couple of hours and then passed out on the three couches in the living room area. Sabine, Jenny's two year old sister, lay between Jenny and Kai-also sleeping.

Jenny awoke to the sound of her phone vibrating. Scared that Sabine might wake up if she answered it, Jenny let it go on ringing.

"Wazzat?" Kai whispered groggily, turning over to face Jen. "Want me to answer it?"

"No," Jenny whispered back, hugging her sister closer to her. "It'll be okay to answer it in the morning."

Kai smiled. "Angeless and Jordan would do anything to see you right now."

Jenny yawned and closed her eyes. "Why?"

"You look beautiful." Jenny was so tired, she didn't even respond-only closed her eyes and fell back into a deep, haunting sleep.
Zeke had dropped Jessica off at her house and gave her a longing kiss goodnight. He then left and started on his way home, humming the song that he and the other guys had attempted to sing at Cargo.

When he rounded the corner to his house, he saw police cruisers lined up at his house. He sped up a little to get their faster. He tore into the yard, put his car in park, and barely turned it off before jolting to the door.

The officer at the door tried to stop him, but let him pass when he saw who it was. he rushed into the living room. He saw his mom and dad on the couch. His aunt and uncle were there, as well.

"What's going on?" he asked, almost wanting to explode. That's when Kirk stood up from behind his aunt and uncle. His face was torn to hell. "What happened?" Zeke asked, worried.

"It was Brent, Trevor and the other guys," Kirk replied."They found out it was me who ratted them out about Jenny." Zeke stormed out of the house. It was almost time to be at the treehouse anyways.
SUNDAY Jun.18:

Jessica awoke the next morning,yawned and looked over at her clock, it was 11:00.

'Holy' thought Jessica she'd slept in! She was supposed to be at the treehouse 2 hours ago!

'Oh well, maybe the others forgot too' she thoght hopefully to herself.

She had alot she wanted to do today anyway. Finish up her packing,and she had to run to the store to pick up a few more things.

"JESSICA!" Her mother called from downstairs.

"Coming" she called back down.

When she got to the landind of her stairs she could see Andrea standing in the foyer wearing a worried expression.

"What's wrong?" Jessica asked.

"Come with me," was all Andrea said before grabbing Jessica by the arm and dragging her out the door.
Jessica and Andrea had reached the sidewalk before Jessica stopped "What in the world is going on? she exclaimed.

Andrea paused "Okay look, I have to leave and I'm not going to be back for a couple days."

Jessica just gave her a look that was like 'so what does that have to do with anything'

Andrea sighed and continued "That means that I'm not going to be able to leave with you guys."

"Why!?" Jessica sked. "What could be more important than you friends?!!!" Jessica was practically screaming.

"Jess, I can't say, I wish I could, really I do but..."

"But what?"Jessica said tears starting to stream down her cheeks.

By now Andrea was getting teary too. "I came to you, Jess, because I thought you of all people would understand. Do you think I want to leave? I promise as soon as I come back I'll explain everything, but for now I have to leave."

"What about the other's? Jessica asked, "What do I tell them?"

Andrea glanced down at her watch "Look Jess, I don't have anymore time to talk I have to go. But whatever you do don't tell the other's, promise?"

Jessica was reluctant...

"PROMISE!!?"

"Fine," Jessica said "I promise."

Andrea smiled gave Jess a quick hug and headed off down the road.

Jessica stood there torn 'What was she going to do?'


Kaio was tired. Too tired to be functioning properly as he was dragged out of his slumber by Jo. He smiled slightly, sleepily, as she fell over a duvet that was heaped on the floor. It seemed he wasnt the only one who was only half awake. But unlike him in his groggy state, she looked strangely ethreal. Maybe it was the mornings cold, embracing light... Or maybe he ut liked her more than he had ever realised... But as he stretched out on the floor to pull out the nights stiffness he realised that he had never seen her look so amazing...

Blearily he looked around for his clothes... He really wanted a shower, but knew he didnt have much time and he could already hear someone using the bathroom and didnt want to rush which ever one of the girls it was. Presumably Jen... Jo was actually still in the room giving him odd looks.

"What?" He asked with a yawn as he finally sat up and shook himself into a semi-state of awareness.

She was looking at his side, where the edge of his t-shirt had ridden up and a yellowing bruise was stamped into his side.

"When did you get that?" her voice was soft and he hated the concern that was rising in her eyes. He didn't want concern on his behalf.

"Must've got it the other day when we were fighting off Brent and the others." he shrugged. But he knew she didn't believe him as he tugged his shirt down.

He actually couldnt remember when that particular bruise had appeared but he knew it couldn't have been from Brent. Actually most of his memory was a bit foggy... He remembered playing at Cargo and arranging to meet the others at an ungodly hour this morning. But the sun was... up?

"We over-slept?" He asked with a touch of amazement. Hadn't there been a phone call? Why hadn't that alerted them? And WHY had anyone called in the first place? It was too early for questions.

"Yeah..." Jo was still frowning and Kaio felt more and more guilty by the second. It was beter she didn't know. It was better no one knew...

"Shit!" Jen's loud cry made them both look up as their friend returned with wet hair about her shoulders, "Why the hell is the sun up?"

So she hadn't noticed... She really must have been in a stupor...

"We need to go!"

Kaio nodded and gathered his things so that the girls could get dressed more privately. He guessed he was old fashioned, guessed it was the british part of his heritage that made him feel like he ought to leave the room. Afterall he knew that Angeless wouldnt leave the room for the girls... But then again that was Angeless. He grinned ruefully and pulled on a pair of jeans he must have left at her house before because he hadn't seen them in a while...

"KAIO!" Jen sounded hectic and he hurried out to see what sort of state she was in. Jo was smiling behind their mutual friend with amusement in her dark eyes.

"Ready for action ma'am!" He joked lamely. It was too early for witticisms.
Angeless was laying out on the grass under the tree house. The characteristic dark sunglass's a testiment to his binge drinking. Jordan was climbing down the ladder and thudded softly as he jumped down the last meter.

"see...This is why we warn you about drinking so much. You always end up like this.

Angeless laughed and then pulled up the sunglasses to reveal two almost blood red eyes.

"Have you actualy been to sleep yet? "asked Jorden?

"Nope....aside from that hour in your car. But then again...you know me...Only thing that'll keep my mood down...death and pregnacy "laughed Angeless.

"I swear...there must be a word for what you are "asked Jordan?

"...there plenty of words for what I am...especialy if you go by what My ex has painted across my car...hence the not driving it. But I think the word girls use for sex...is Excellent "laughed Angeless while jordan just chuckled.

"I think I've heard some of that perfomance "laughed Jordan.
He just liked to humor Angeless, in reality; he wasn’t really in the joking mood but still dead tired from this night/morning/whatever time of the day it was- he didn’t even know. He was pretty sure he hadn’t slept yet, but he couldn’t really remember.

“Where is everyone anyways?” Jordy asked Angeless, “We were supposed to come here right?”

“Uh… yeah, sure.” Angeless said.

“Wow… some help you are.” Jordy said shaking his head, “I’m going back up… holler up if something happens will ya?”

“Uh-huh.” Angeless said, pulling his shades down again and placing his hands behind his head.

Jordan climbed back up the ladder into the empty tree house, thinking bout how much bigger it used to be and wondering what had happened. He lay down on the far side of the little lair and closed his eyes, wishing he could just sleep and forget all his worries and problems and everything…

It wasn’t long before he could hear voices below. He identified them as Zeke and Jessica talking to Angeless but he couldn’t quite hear what they were saying. A few minutes later they were joined by the voices of Kai and Jo but Jordy wasn’t interested in anything they had to say so he just stayed where he was, eyes closed.

He thought he heard someone making their way up the ladder, but could still hear everyone on the ground so knew he was probably just hearing things. But sure enough, a few seconds later, Jenny appeared at the top of the ladder. Jordan kept his eyes closed.

“Jordan?” she called softly from across the small room. He opened his eyes but didn’t look over at her.

“Hey Jenny.” He said quietly.

“Mind if I join you?”

Jordan sat up and rubbed his eyes a little, resting his back against the wall and pulling his knees up to his chest. He shook his head.

“You okay?” She asked him when she was sitting next to him.

“Not really.” He said, “Tired… that’s all.” He added, not really wanting to get into some kind of deep conversation right now.

“Look… Jordy-” she started to say but just then the others began coming up into the tree house.

“Has anyone seen Jo?” Kai was asking casually, but no one seemed to know. Everyone piled in and found a seat against the wall, chit chatting meanlessly as they did so. Jordan was still quiet, almost wishing he wasn’t sitting right next to Jenny.

“Well…” Zeke started, “What happens now?”
For some strange reason, Jenny was very tired. She had had trouble sleeping the night before, and didn't even think she could sleep now. There was something exciting about she and her friends leaving town-but she felt that it would be awkward for them at first. Oh well, Jenny was okay with awkward situations. She was almost always the cause of them, anyway.

"Angeless? Are you serious?" Jenny demanded when she arrived at the treehouse.

Angless gave a guilty smile. "I don't have a clue what you're yelling at me about, Jen."

"You only wear those glasses for one reason..."

"Keeping out intense sunlight?"

Genevieve took Angless's hand. "Except, Angeless, that on normal days, you aren't hungover." Jenny sighed and kissed his hand. "I won't tell you not to drink, baby, because I can't. I drink too...well, you know...I just....," Jeny's voice went quiet. "Is it different for you?"

Before getting an answer, however, she had already entered the treehouse and was sitting next to Jordan and the treehouse meeting had started.

"We need to just get the hell out of here," Kaio murmmered.

Jenny looked towards him and noticed the bags under his eyes. He hadn't gotten any sleep either.

"I think we should all go out and get wasted," Angeless laughed, hoping to get a rise out of his friends. But they were in a somber mood. Even Jenny shot him a spiteful glance.

"Where's Andrea?" Jenny asked. Jordan accidentally touched her arm and she shievered and pulled away.

No one seemed to know-but Jessica had a guilty look on her face. However, for once, Genevieve didn't confront her about it openly. She decided she would ask her later.

"Let's go out to eat," Jordan suggested. "I'm starving."

Everyone filed out of the house-hoping to come up with a better plan later.

"I miss being a kid," Jenny whispered to no one in particular. But Jordan was listening.

"Can't say my childhood left me that nostalgic," he gave a bitter laugh.

The pair dropped behind the rest of the group (except Angeless who was lumbering slowly behind them with a cigarette in between his teeth and his sunglasses still pulled tightly over his eyes). "You know, Jord, I could tell you something that happened during my childhood that not even Angeless knows."

Jordan shook his head. "No, Genevieve, I don't want to know. I don't. If I do, I'll feel cheated-because I can't comfort you, I can't do anything about it. If you're going to tell someone, tell your boyfriend back there."

Jenny looked extremely hurt, but kept silent as they continued walking.

About five minutes later, Jordan spoke up. "I'm sorry Jen. I didn't mean to sound so horrible. But we're about to all go on a trip together and I don't want to give a) Angeless any reason to kick my ass or b) Me any reason not to go. I want to be with you right now, even if I can't really be with you. So...let's just eat."

Still Jenny was uncharacteristically silent. Her eyes had fogged over.

"We should have taken Angeless's advice and just gone and gotten wasted," she whispered as Jordan opened the door for her and they stepped into the restaurant.
Jessica was still a little nervous about Andrea. No one had really said anything but she could tell the were getting suspicious. Well honestly if they asked her where she was she could say she didn’t know... which was true to some extent. All Jessica knew was she was gone but she didn’t know where to.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the waitress ushering them all into a booth. Everyone sat down a opened their menu’s deciding what to order and discussing random things nothing in particular. The waitress came back and they all ordered their food and drinks.

Jessica had a salad and a coke and went off into deep thought once more.
Andrea couldn’t believe this was happening...AGAIN! For once her life had been great she’d settled well in this new place but her stupid father had to go and ruin everything. But... she couldn’t dwell on that now she had a convention to go to, things to report and what not.

Andrea actually couldn’t believe how far she’d made it this time, usually people had her figured out by now and it was off to relocate once more. A new house, new school, new friends, new EVERYTHING!!! But no, her friends had no idea who she really was...Nicole, Nicole Freedman, yes that’s right Nicole Freedman. Daughter of one of the former most powerful business men in the World.

But, her father had to go and bankrupt the entire company causing billions of people to loose millions of dollars in stocks. Her mother thought it would be safer if they joined the WPP (Witness Protection Program) and start a whole new life away from her father’s bad name.

The first relocation didn’t go too well. Within a week people had started noticing the similarities between “Chrissy” and the missing Nicole. So it was off to another relocation. They were sure that the second relocation would be fine. For a while it was, off stuck in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. But somehow someone managed to track Nicole and her mother down and reveal them once again. “Andrea” was Nicole and her mother’s third and final try to start over.

But yet again there was a flaw. Nicole’s mother had figured out that she planned to run away were her little group of friends, so was forcing her daughter to come and be talked out of it by the head haunches at WPP. Now all Nicole had to do was outwit some of the cleverest people in the universe. How hard could it be?

Something was amiss. Only it was too early in the morning for him to decypher exactly what it was. He could not quite pinpoint anything wrong except for the empty space that was Andrea's shadow. Kaio shook his head, not knowing and almost not wanting to know where she was... He would worry about it when it became apparent there was something to worry about. Most probably she too had over slept... But then again that wasn't exactly Andrea's style... It was more like something he would do than she would.

Right now he needed coffee and nothing else. He wasn't a big eater, never had been eeing as hanging out in the kitchen for too long generally ended in tears. He felt bad about one part of their plan... He was leaving his mother to defend herself. There would be no Kaio to take the heavy fists off her shoulders... He shook his head. His body needed a break. Looking around at the tired, drooping faces he would hazard a guess that they all needed a break.

"Just coffee for me, thanks..." He said as one hungover waitress took the orders of the others. He caught a wiff of cigarette smoke on the air and breated in deeply. Damn he needed a toke... or two... or... he needed a smoke and that was fact.

Angeless caught his eye with a wry grin before letting Kaio settle back into his morning stupor. Jo had her head on the table beside him, face furrowed sligtly. Smiling softly he came down to her level, wondering what was wrong.

"Sup?" he questioned, muttering the sylable so none of the others would here it.

She said nothing but the eyes that met his, told him exactly what was wrong.
Angeless seemed to have perked up more since having his 6th cup of coffee. He had offered to drive the first shift but knowing he had a hangover he decided not to. He had to admit it wasn't quite as fun as he thaught it would be. After chewing down a bacen sandwhich he popped outside to make a call on his cell. He'd gotten through to the voice mail several times.

"Hey mum Just calling to say Hi...I've um left a little cash for you in the bread bin. I know you told me to take it and spend it on something. But you know me...The chemo is more important than what I want. You take care I love you mum...and I want you to know...That despite my drug problem. I'm making an effort to kick it "sighed and turning around he saw Jenny standing there.

Tucking the phone into his pocket he avoided eye contact.

"I'm sorry I didn't know "she said looking like she was about to run off.

"Don't worry about it...None of them know. Shit its not like its me thats dying "sighed Angeless looking like he wanted to avoid talking about it.

He couldn't get why he was ashamed to say anything about his mother. He had no problem admiting his drug problem to Jordan.

"God I feel so stupid...I'm ruining the trip by being a mopy depressing git. Yet you still look at me like nothings wrong "sighed Angeless.

Jenny was smiling at him.

"So what you feel bad. You're human thats what we do "smirked Jenny.
When Jordan came back from the bathroom, he noticed Jenny and Angeless were missing. ‘Whatever…’ he thought- he was just tired of thinking about it all.

“So…” he said, sitting down, “you think they got any good mountain biking in Florida?” He smiled, trying to get people to lighten up a little. He could tell they were all tired though- hell even he was tired, but lately he felt like such a downer which totally wasn’t even him. He didn’t like to dwell on things or think too much about life to the point that it scared him- both of which he had been doing for far too long now. Mountain biking was like his escape and he hadn’t been for awhile. He figured, maybe that was part of the problem.

“I’m looking forward to the beaches if you ask me.” Zeke smiled. “But… you always were into biking more than girls, right Jordy?” Everyone laughed. Jordan blushed.

“Well… you won’t be laughing when I go pro and my wife is hotter than yours.” He countered. The girls rolled their eyes but the guys got a kick out of it. Zeke shook his head.

“It’s all good…” Jordan said, “we’re gonna have fun no matter what right? As long as we’re with friends, what could go wrong?” He was half sarcastic though, knowing a lot could go wrong, especially at the rate they were going now.

Jenny and Angeless came back in and everyone welcomed them back, but Jordy cold tell something was different. Even so, he let it go without question.

Eventually they all got tired of small talk and sitting around sipping their waters and coffees or whatever else.

“My house is open if you guys want to just come chill for awhile.” Jenny suggested. Some people took her up on the offer, others didn’t. It was tempting, but Jordy decided he just had to turn her down today, thinking maybe Zeke was right after all…

“All this talk of mountain biking makes me want to go for a ride.” Jordan said, “Haven’t been for awhile, I figure I better take the bike out… she gets lonely you know.” He smiled. “Anyone wanna come?” He offered but no one seemed too interested.

They all separated ways and Jordan headed home to get his bike ready for the ride. Once everything was prepared he drove out to his favorite trail and took off. He had forgotten how great biking was and couldn’t believe it hadn’t been for so long.

Pretty soon, it was dusk. Jordan was heading back to his truck, going down a pretty big hill at a quick speed when all of a sudden, a tall tree stump seemed to jut up in front of him- in the darkening twilight, he must of missed it- ‘how could I be so stupid?!’ he thought. But it was too late. His bike smashed into the stump and he was flying through the air over his handlebars before he had time to react. His head smashed into a big rock and, even though he had been wearing his full face helmet, it still knocked him unconscious. He just lay there with his eyes closed, with the sun setting lower and lower by the second- alone and down for the count, not even aware of what was happening.
******

She pulled the helmet off his head as carefully as she could, hoping he hadn’t broken his
neck or anything. As she placed the helmet to the side, she noticed a patch of red mixed
in with the boy’s blonde hair. She placed her hand softly on the side of his head,
feeling the warm liquid there.

“Oh my god…” she said, wiping his blood off her hands and onto her jeans. She took off
one of her socks and used that to try and mop up some of the blood. “Sorry…” she
muttered. It was then she realized he wasn’t breathing. She rolled his head upright,
knowing there was only one thing she could do to help him, and started CPR.

“Please don’t be dead…” she whispered as she pushed on his chest, “Please…” She was
almost begging. She went on for at least a minute or two- breathe, push, push, push,
push, breathe… “Come on!” She was getting tired. Finally, a cough echoed from within his
throat as his body seized up and twisted a little- surprised at breathing again.

“Hey… hey… it’s all right…” She said in a soothing way, “Try not to move.” Jordan looked
into this girl’s dark green eyes. She had medium length brown hair pulled up into a
ponytail and a pretty face. She was wearing a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt, with a light
sweater over top. As he watched her, she moved behind him a little bit, cradling his head
in her lap to try and get him to calm down. He was speechless, trying to figure out what
had happened and where this girl had come from. “What’s your name?” She asked him.

“Jordan Pryce.” He said, feeling the words hurt him as he spoke.

“Jordan…” She repeated, taking in his name, “I’m Natalie.”

He closed his eyes- wincing a little as a sharp pain shot up his spine and into his head
and he pulled his hand up to the bloody patch on the side.

“Shhh…” Natalie said, “I know it hurts... I’m going to get you help, are you going to be
okay when I go?” She asked him. He opened his eyes.

“As long as you hurry…”

She looked at him with a worried expression. Even in the twilight Jordan could tell she
didn’t want to leave him there alone. “I’ll be fine. This is nothing.” He assured her.
She stood up, taking off her sweater to place beneath his head.

“Don’t die on me okay?” She said, scrunching her face a little with a half smile, like
she was partly joking but partly serious.

“I promise.” He said, tying to return the smile. She turned and took off running up the
hill. He closed his eyes again, praying she would be back soon, and hoping he could
fulfill his promise.

A few minutes later- though it could have been a few hours- she was whispering to him
again. “Jordan… Jordan…” she was saying. He opened his eyes, “I thought I’d lost you.”
She said with a sigh of relief as he looked back at her.

He shook his head, “I promised…”

“This is my brother,” she said, motioning to the guy behind her, “He’s going to get you
to the hospital okay?” He felt safer having them both there with him- just knowing he
wasn’t alone.

And that was the last thing he remembered. He must have lost consciousness again because
the next thing he knew, he was laying in a hospital bed in a dimly lit room with the soft
hum of monitors to keep him company.

“You’re lucky.” Natalie spoke from beside him, “I don’t usually go out for runs on
Sunday’s… especially not at dusk.” Jordan looked over at her.

“Thank you.” He said, even though no words would be enough.

“So much for a proper introduction eh?” She asked.

”So much for a first date…” He joked. She laughed, “We should try this again sometime.”
She just smiled.

“Your aunt’s coming.” She said, changing the subject, and Jordan nodded, not really
caring how they had found her as long as she would be there soon.

“Am I going to live, Doctor?” He asked her with a smile.

“Well…” she said, matter of factly, “A few broken ribs, slight concussion, blood loss,
head laceration, other cuts and bruises but… I think you’ll be okay.”

“Did they say when I can go home?” he asked.

“They want to keep you overnight for observation but, you should be good to go by late
morning.”

“Will you pick me up?” He asked her with a smile.

“Is that your attempt to ask me on a second date?” she asked and he shrugged, “Just
because you were dying and I saved you, doesn’t mean I’m going to fall madly in love with
you, Jordan.” She joked.

“I wasn’t dying- I was fine…. Honest.” He smiled a little.

“Well… maybe I’ll give you another chance… see you tomorrow then?” She said, standing. He
nodded.

“Tomorrow it is…”

“Get some rest.” She said, bending down to kiss him lightly on the head before exiting.
He closed his eyes; maybe that bike ride was a good idea after all. Boy, Zeke’s sure
gonna get a laugh out of this one…

After the group left the diner Jessica went home: she didn't really feel like talking to anyone. Everything was going wrong, Andrea was gone, her friends were in this crazy love triangle and god knows what else was hppening she didn't know about.

The point was that this was supposed to be a time where they could all get closer, talk to each other. It seemed as if now everyone was closing up even more than before.

She couldn't blame everyone else for this though, she was guilty too. she hadn't been talking m,uch to Zeke latley and she could tell he knew something was up.

Jessica pushed these thoughts out of her mind as she walked up her front steps and walked into her house.

"HEY, I'M HOME!" Jessica called, but no one replied.

"Funy' she thought, 'mom said she'd be home. oh well'

******************

It was about 10:00pm when the phone rang. Expecting it to be her mother Jessica picked up the reciever and said "Hello?"

But on the other end it was Zeke and his voice sounded stiff and serious, "There's been an accident...Jordan's in the hospital. All I know is that...

Before Zeke could finish Jessica dropped the phone grabbed her keys and a jacket and headed out the door. She had already let one of her friends go and she wasn't about to let it happen again.



MONDAY: June 19th

Nicole was standing on the side of the road her hand outstretched and her thumb held up. She had no other choice. What else was she supposed to do?

You see Nicole had run...and that is not good. Now she has basically the whole FBI trying to track her down.

What happened was Nicole went into the meeting and all and her case was called up...blah balh, all the normal stuf. But then came the "How could you be so stupid?", and the "You almost blew your cover", "What were you thinking?"

Nicole had tried to explain her side of the story, but would they listen?...NO! When the head people went in a back to talk she found it was the perfect moment to make her move.

She bolted and amazingly made it to the stairs. She had to break out a couple kung fu moves but she managed to get out the front doors. The other gaurds were to busy talking so that gave her a few minutes head start.

Nicole was almost a good 500 feet away near the main highway when she could see security was gaining on her.

So that's what brought her here just waiting, praying that someone would stop...and FAST!

The letter slipped from his fingers with a soft swish as it fell.

"What is it, hun?" his mother said in her soft, sad voice, her large eyes searching his face.

For a second he forgot to be angry at that broke tone that now laced her words, the quiet that filtered into her where once apon a time she had been vibrant and loud... He forgot because his life had just been turned into something far far larger than him.

"We got scouted." He finally said, loud enough to make his mother flinch and search for the blundering bulk of an angry husband.

"Scouted?" She whispered, even more afraid it seemed now.

"Yeah, my band... Reprise Records want to sign us..." The words sounded hollow. He couldn't believe it. It couldn't seriously be coming true... All those dreams... All those hours of wondering and hoping that one day someone would walk into Cargo and see them performing, see them and want them and need them to join their lable. This was everything.

His mother's eyes widened, excitement and pride washing through them and spreading into a rare smile, "Kaio...But that's... that's... amazing!" she was still hushed but the joy in her voice now was something he had only dreamed of hearing these days, "It's what you've always wanted, love, it's all you deserve. You can get out of here now..." Her voice sounded sad for a moment but she had known that it had been coming; his imminent exit from the house that was never a home. He was after all, eighteen years old...

But he knew if his life was going to be better, then she was coming with him. His father couldn't dictate her life forever, no matter how much power he seemed to have over the both of them. But he couldn't tell her that. He couldn't bear it if he told her, promised her something that, later, he may not be able to pull through on.

"I need to tell the others." He said eventually and saw the dimness return to her eyes.

"Yes I suppose you should... Well done, Kaio..." She rose from the table and he folder the letter back up as she began to leave.

"Thanks mum." He murmured, knowing she wouldn't hear it but saying it anyway.

Reprise Records.... It was unbelievable... They had signed Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, the B-52s, Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day, Deftones, Disturbed, even the Flaming Lips and Enya (not that he liked Enya but he knew Reprise had signed her) or The Used and Taking Back Sunday....

"F***..." He wandered out into the street. Not sure who to go and tell first. He would have called them but this seemed too imporant to tell over the phone.

He let his feet carry him. It didn't seem like he was incontrol any more... And in a way, he knew it was true.
Angeless was sitting alone in the back garden of his house. Laying back down he watched the clouds drifting across the sky. The phone was ringing and feeling he coudln't be bothered to get up he just let it ring. He was in one of his couldn't be bothered moods again.

"I'm not home... "he sighed blowing small smoke rings to amuse himself.

Hearing footsteps he rolled his head a little further back and saw a upside down Jenny. Rolling over onto his stomach he got up. She was sitting down on the midle step like they all used to do.

"I tried your cell but I couldn't get through "she sighed.

"...I left it inside "he sighed coming to sit down next to her.

"I tried the house line... "she looked at him like she was upset.

"I was out here "he sighed.

He knew she knew he was avoiding talking with her about his mother.

"You can't keep trying to solve your problems alone...you think that letting us in would somehow ruin you? "she asked him angrily.

There it was, The big lingering proverbial creak that starts with S and him without a paddle.

"I'm not...I just don't want to loose them. People I care about tend to go away...and it kills me "he sighed looking her strait in the eye.

He couldn't think of a time when he wan't afraid of letting somebody get close to him.

"When I'm with you I feel something other than the mind numbing feeling that I'm alone. Look at me...You told me that my eyes can't lie. So look at them when I say...I love you "he sighed fixing her with that unrelenting stare.
“Jordan?” A soft voice spoke to him. He opened his eyes.

“Hey Jess…” He whispered. It was late, he didn’t quite know what time it was only that it was dark and he was tired.

“Oh my gosh…” She started to get a little worked up at the sight of Jordan in a hospital bed.

“I’m okay.” He said. She sat down in a chair next to his bed. “Just a few cuts.”

“I can’t believe this happened…”

“Jessica… I’m sorry. I didn’t want to scare you…I’ll be fine, I can go home in the morning.” He wasn’t quite expecting any visitors and didn’t really know what to say to Jessica.

“You promise me you’re okay?” she said softer and calmer now. He gave a small smile and nodded. “I just had to make sure.”

“I know.” He said.

“You should go back to sleep. I’m sorry I woke you.”

“You can wake me any time Jessica… especially you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She asked.

“We’ve been friends for so long Jess… I don’t want that to change. Anytime you need me, or want to see me, or talk to me, just know that you always can. No matter what. I mean it.” She just smiled softly, not knowing what to say to that.

“Good night Jordan.” She said, standing up, “I’m glad you’re okay.” She left then, and by the way she was acting, Jordan knew something was up but she wasn’t quite ready to talk about it.

*****
In the morning he was checked over multiple times before he was cleared for checkout. His aunt came to sign the paperwork and give him lectures on how he should be more careful. Soon enough Natalie showed up too.

“I thought you’d never come back.” Jordan smiled as she entered the room.

“I figured I might as well make sure you were still alive.” She said smartly. “Ready to go?” He was.

Once out in the parking lot, his aunt gave him hug and told him to be safe as she walked one way to her car and Jordan and Natalie went the other.

“You drive?” Jordan asked.

“How old do you think I am?” Natalie asked, “Twelve?”

“No… that’s not it just-“

“Calm down Jordan… I was joking.” She smiled at him and shook her head as she unlocked the doors to her Explorer. They got in and buckled up. “So I doubt you have any plans for today?” She asked him.

“I was hoping you would take care of all the details.” He said.

“Good then, because I did.” She said, “We’re going to go for a walk.” She smiled as she started the car and drove off.

The ride there was pretty quiet, just chit chat about likes and dislikes and school and work and friends and what not. They drove for a little bit, up a windy mountain road until Natalie just pulled over in a seemingly random parking lot

“Well… we’re here.” She said, unbuckling her seat belt and stepping out of the car. Jordan followed her out of the parking lot and down a little path into the trees and forest. “Anything look familiar?” she asked him.

He looked over at her with a confused expression on his face. “Should it?”

“Kind of…” she said, “This is the path I found you on the other day…”

“Oh.” He said.

“What were you doing out here anyways?” She asked.

“Wasn’t it pretty obvious?” He asked back, “Besides, I’d ask you the same thing.” She looked over at him.

“I live up that way.” She said, pointing up the mountain, “I come out here to think and get away from people, go for jogs or walks or whatever. It’s perfectly safe, just secluded and hardly anyone comes around here. I don’t recommend coming out here alone if you plan on pulling a dangerous stunt like you did.”

“Sorry…” Jordan said quietly, “I didn’t really mean to…”

“Don’t worry about it.” She cut in, “You’re okay, that’s all that matters. Just be more careful next time.” She said, smiling at him. He smiled back and nodded.
They walked on a little ways before either of them spoke again.

“This is where I found you.” She said, finding the spot without trouble. “Your bike must’ve hit that stump over there and… you flew over to here.” It was kind of a long way to imagine himself flying through the air and Jordan didn’t really want to think about all the bad things that could’ve happened if she never found him.

“Thanks again.” He said quieter, “but I don’t think I could say thanks quite enough times.”

“That’s okay.” She said and smiled at him, “You don’t have to say it anymore. I know how grateful you are.”

“Oh yes, my savior.” He said in a sarcastic voice, mimicking her tone. She laughed a little at that.

Jordan liked this girl, even if he had just met her. She was fun and seemed caring, genuinely down to earth and friendly, funny and happy… he liked the way her eyes lit up when he said something funny and the way she smiled at him.

As they talked and walked through the paths, she grabbed his hand and he was glad she wasn’t looking at his face because he knew he was blushing. For a second, he forgot about everything, all his plans and troubles and- Jenny! He pulled his hand away.

“I don’t want to lead you wrong.” He said, stopping and looking Natalie in the eyes.

“What do you mean?” She said, confused.

“I mean… I like you.” He blurted out, “Like… you know…” She smiled at him, “But… we just met and… things are a little… crazy right now… I don’t want to move to fast or… I don’t even know if I should be doing this right now…”

“Doing what?” she asked, interested.

“Falling in like with you.” He smiled and she returned it.

“Well Jordan Pryce… my schedule is open for a boy friend right now and if you’d like to fill that time slot, I’d be glad to have you.”

“What?” He said confused again.

“I’m kidding…” she said, “Do you really think I’d be like that? Look Jordan… I like you too, but if you’re not ready to have a relationship right now… that’s fine. At least we can be friends and maybe let this develop into something more…”

“That’s not it.” He said, “If you met my friends, you’d understand.” He smiled, “There’s so much drama, I can’t even tell you about it all… besides, I didn’t mean I wasn’t ready to have a relationship it’s just… complicated…”

“You don’t have to tell me about it.” Natalie said, “I don’t need to know if that would only make things harder.” He was glad she kind of understood…

Jordan’s phone rang in his pocket and when he answered it, he was not so pleasantly surprised by Zeke.

“Jordan! I heard you were in the hospital? Are you okay? What happened? Where are you? What’s going on?” And a million other questions seemed to follow.

“Calm down boy… I’m fine…”

“Are you coming by Jenny’s house? Kai apparently has some huge news he needs to share with the entire world and we all have to be there… are you coming?”

“Yeah… sure… I’ll be there.” He hung up with Zeke, wondering what the news could be. Turning to Natalie he said, “I think I’m going to have to cut this date a little short but… Would it be horribly awkward if you drove me to my friend’s house? You could even come in if you wanted.”

“It’s no problem, I’d love to drive you somewhere.” She smiled at him. They walked back up to her car and got in. And before he knew it, they were already parked outside of Jenny’s house.
Angeless wasn't speaking to Jenny; ignoring her, in fact. As she and the gang sat in her living room, Angeless was on the opposite end of the couch from her. She watched him closely: his movements, his tics, the way his arm muscles flinched when someone got too close. One in awhile she would try and scoot closer to him, or touch him affecionately. He brushed her hand away, or moved away from her. Jenny was getting a headache.

Suddenly, her doorbell rang. Thankful for the excuse to get up, Jenny rushed to the door. She smiled as she saw Jordan standing at the door. She rushed at him, throwing her arms around him.

"Oh God, Jord, I'm so glad you're here, things have been so awkward! I have so much to tell...." Genevieve suddenly stopped. Coming from a car and up into her driveway was a very pretty girl.

Jordan smiled awkwardly. He took Jenny's hand, but she pulled it away and looked down at the floor. "Jenny this is Natalie; Natalie, Jenny."

Natalie waved in a nervous fashion. Jenny scowled; her face red. "It's Genevieve, actually," she said, and walked away from the door.

She heard Jordan and Natalie follow her in.

When she got back towards the group, she said, "It seems like Jordan's trying to recruit more people as friends." She sat down, angrily and a little abashed beside Angeless. He pretended not to notice her. Instead of letting him get away with it, Jenny grabbed his hand. He jumped off the couch and looked down on Jenny with an frown.

"If you can't tell me you love me, and you can't give me any fucking answers, than you sure as hell can't be with me," he yelled, as the group watched on. He got up, stalked out the front door and slammed it behind him.

Jenny put her face in her hands.

"These are my friends," Jordan said to Natalie, the irony in his voice lost on no one.

Jenny got up and went to her room, following Angeless's example and slamming the door.
'Not again,' Zeke thought to himself. Just when it seems the group has been mended together, it falls flat on it's face. Realizing that he hadn't talked to Jessica that much, he pulled her close to him. She noticed this and looked up at him. She felt the hurt he did.

Seeing Angeless and Jenny this way made Zeke realize that he didn't want Jessica to think he had forgotten he loved her. Or that she loved him. He wanted this time to emphasize how he felt. She read this in his eyes without words needing to be spoken.

She quickly got up and pulled him to the side. She had to ask him these questions.

"Zeke, do you think I'm pretty?"

He smiled:" No."

"Do you want to be with me forever?"

"No."

She forwned. " If I left, would you cry?" Tears began welling in her eyes. How could Zeke say this?

"No."

That was it. She began to turn and walk away, when Zeke caught her by the arm.

"You're not pretty, you're beautiful. I don't want to be with you forever, I NEED to be with you forever. And I wouldn't cry if you walked away... I'd die."

She jumped into his arms and kissed him.

"But I have to ask you a question, Jessica."

"What's that?"

And Zeke got on one knee. He pulled out a diamond ring.

"Will you marry me?"

*I've been waiting forever to pull that little surprise on ya'll, LOL*
Jessica stood there, momentarily in pure shock. She didn’t know if anyone else had heard this proposal; the whole room almost seemed to fade around her. Her eyes looking deep within Zeke’s ,not really sure weather or not she was dreaming.

She was brought back to reality when someone in the room said “SO?!!!!”
Jessica looked around at her friends and back at Zeke finally saying “Yes!” through tears as her new fiancé slid the ring on her finger.

For the next 10 min there were hugs and tears and many “CONGRATULATIONS!” They even got Jenny to come out of her room for a while. Once all the excitement had blown over, everyone sat down and seemed to get back to the reality of it all. Some of them were still fighting, Andrea was still missing, and to top it all off, they had a wedding to plan.

*Jason, I literally screamed when I read your add LOL*
A black jeep pulled over and before the driver had even opened the door Nicole was in the car. “GO GO GO!” she shouted. The driver took off and before she new it the police chasing them were nothing more than black dots on the horizon.

Now that they had put some distance between the jeep and the FBI Nicole noticed that her driver was a guy, a cute guy. He couldn’t be more than 20 and he had short brown hair that was kinda spiky.

“Do I even want to know why you were so anxious to get away?” he asked.

“Probably not,” she said with a smile. “By the way I’m Nicole.”

“Brian” the guy responded.

They had been driving a while when the guy said “So where are you heading?”

“Bay Ville”

“Hey, me too, I’m going to visit my sister, I can drop you off.” Brian said smiling for the first time since Nicole had met him.

The rest of there ride passed with them talking, laughing, sharing stories. Nicole had never felt this open with anyone before she actually didn’t feel like she wanted to curl up in a ball in a corner somewhere, she wanted to talk to this guy.

They were pulling onto Nicole’s street and as they were passing Jenny’s house she noticed Angeless standing outside and everyone else’s cars in the driveway.

“Hey, Can you stop for a minute?” she asked Brian.

“Sure,” he said as he pulled over.

“You can come in if you want” Nicole said as she stepped out of the car.

Angeless was too busying cursing and muttering to himself that he didn’t even notice Nicole and Brian walk up and go into the house. Without even saying a word to Brian, Nicole started up the steps toward the upstairs den. She got to the door and without even thinking opened it and walked in. Brian silently slipped in behind her.

Everyone looked up not saying anything. All of Nicole’s friends were there except Angeless who was still outside. There was also this girl that Nicole had never seen before sitting next to Jordan.

Brian was actually the one who broke the silence, “Natalie is that you?”

Natalie stood up, “Oh my god, Brian?”

The two met and hugged each other.

“Wait, you two know each other?” Nicole snapped with a little more attitude than she had intended.

“Yeah,” said Brian turning around, “This is my sister.”

And suddenly his own news seemed trivial. Pointlessly small and he didn't know if he should say it. He knew he should. This was his dream and he wanted them to know it but... It wasnt that he wasnt happy for them... He just knew that music could split the group apart... And he didnt want that...

"Congratulations." He smiled, slowly letting his mask react for him before excusing himself to find Angeless. He was sure his friend would understand and... maybe it would cheer him up slightly... He seemed so down, confused, just like him...

"Life is so fucked up." He leant against the wall, pressing his forehead to the cool white paint.

"Tell me about it."
"Kai...I think I Fucked up more than usual "he sighed lighting up another ciggarete.

"Really how? "asked Kai?

"I started dating...its that simple "sighed Angeless.

Kai laughed breifly.

"Andrea's back... "sighed Kai.

"Really? when? I didn't see her "he sighed.

"She walked right past you while you were...deep in thaught...which probably mean't you were busy saying every swear word you could think off "sighed Kai.

Angeless looked at him.

"You think Jen's ever going to talk to me again? I love her man....I mean it I really love her "sighed Angeless.

"I'm sure she feels the same way...She just doesn't know how to say it. The band got signed "Sighed Kai.

Angeless looked at Kai and then shuffled over on the step and put his arm over Kai's shoulder.

"Come on Lets go get drunk and celibrate. Fuck then for now. The got shit of their own to deal with "sighed Angeless standing up and taking out his keys.
“I thought Chris was your brother…” Jordan said as he, Natalie and Brian sat on the curb outside of Jen’s house. “…The one I met in the woods…”

Natalie just smiled “I have two brothers…” she said, “It’s not so uncommon.”

“Well just for future reference, I’m an only child as far as I know.” Jordan joked, even though he wasn’t quite in the mood.

“Brian’s been gone for… years it seems.” She said, smiling at her brother.

“Where at?” Jordan asked him.

“Oh here and there… college and what not… traveling around.” He said. “I promised Nat I’d come back for her though, couldn’t leave her up in that boring house practically all alone,” He smiled, “But it seems like she’s found something to occupy her time these days.” Jordan wasn’t sure what to make of that comment and he was pretty sure Natalie blushed.

“Well… maybe I’ll let you guys catch up…” Jordan said when he sensed the awkwardness coming to a peak. He stood up and Natalie stood and joined him, as did Brian.

“You don’t have to go Jordan…” Natalie said.

“No really.” He said, “It’s okay… besides… I think I have some issues back inside that need to be dealt with…” his voice trailed off. “I’ll call you later okay?”

“Okay… good luck…” She said.

“Sorry about all that…” He said she just smiled, understandingly. “Take care.” He said turning to Brian, “It was good to meet you.” He turned to go back into the house… dreading what he was about to encounter, not really know what to do.

Kai and Angeless were gone. He didn’t know where. And as he trudged up the stairs to the den, he was pretty sure he already hated the silence that lay behind that door. He pushed it open, slowly moving into the room where he was met with a smiling Zeke sitting close to a Jessica who was showing off her ring to the newly arrived Andrea and an intrigued Jo. They barely looked at him as he came in. At least some people are happy… he thought jealously.

“Did Kai ever share his news?” Jordan asked from the doorframe. Zeke just looked up, stopped smiling, and shook his head ‘no.’ Jordan nodded with a sad acknowledgment. “And they’ve gone?” He asked. Zeke nodded. “And Jen?”

“She doesn’t want to see you right now…” Jessica said softly with an almost ‘I’m sorry’ tone in her voice.

“Figures.” He sighed.

“She’s in her room.” Zeke answered him anyways. He nodded for the door as if to say ‘Just go. Just talk to her.’Jordan nodded that sad nod again and left the room as quietly as he had entered it. Zeke smiled at him as he went.

As he approached Jenny’s room, he was pretty sure he could hear quiet sobs coming from inside. He took a deep breath and exhaled before knocking softly on the door and gently pushing it open.

“Go away!” Jenny said between sobs. Expected. “I said go away!” She said more forceful when Jordan continued to come into the room.

“I can’t.” He said simply.

“Oh… sure you can’t.” She said spitefully. Jordan pulled out her desk chair and sat about halfway across the room from Jenny, just looking at her so she knew he wouldn’t easily be waved away.

“I feel like I should be apologizing for something…” Jordan said, very collected. “But… I’m not sure I’m the exact cause of this meltdown.”

“You’re so funny Jordan Pryce.” She spoke, extremely bitter.

“Not like I was exactly trying to be funny… I’m not so much in a joking mood today.”

“But you were soooo happy earlier today with… what was her name? Oh yeah… bitch?” Jordan’s mouth dropped a little, somewhat taken aback by her comments.

“Ouch.” He said flatly. There was silence then except for the cries of Genevieve. “All I wanted was to see if you were okay… but… obviously you’re not.” He said after awhile. “If you want to be alone… I’ll leave you…” He said standing up, “But I just want you to know that you’ll always be first Jenny… even when you hate me.”

He was nearly out the door when: “Jordan!” He turned around, “Please don’t leave me…” She was still crying now, but her words weren’t as hateful, “I don’t want to be alone.” He took another deep breath before tracing his steps back across the room to where Jenny was seated on her bed. He sat down on the edge.

“I’m here.” He said as she sat up and scooted into him. He put his arm around her caringly, without question or hesitation. He spoke quietly, trying to calm the atmosphere. She cried onto his shoulder.

“I can’t tell him I love him… and I can’t give him any answers…” She whispered so softly, Jordan was surprised he caught her words at all.
“He’s not being so fair…” Jordan said truthfully, “…some people need more time than others to come around…” And those were all the words he could offer.

“Thanks Jordy…” She said, her tears subsiding a little. He closed his eyes and nuzzled his head in close to hers, taking in the smell of her hair.

“I should go…” he said after a long moment.

“No,” she said, “Please Jordan… can’t we just be here? Can’t you just sit there like that and me like this? Don’t let this moment go…”

“Sometimes we have to know when to let go…” He said quietly. He moved his arm away from her. She tried to go with his retreating form, but it was hopeless.

He stood up to leave when, on a second thought, took her hand, bent down, and whispered in her ear; “But I’m not letting you go.... I’ll always be here for you…” Then he leaned in so his cheek was right up next to hers as he moved to kiss her lightly. “Always.” He whispered. He stood up and released her hand as he left the room. And even though at that moment, Jenny wasn't 'his'... he was still reluctant to go.
Zeke held on to Jessica as the inner bickering continued. His new fiance was shivering. Was she cold? No, Zeke thought, she was saddened by their friends' anger towards each other. He put his hand up to her cheek and wiped away the tear he knew was there.

He got up and led Jessica with him outside. He wanted to get her away from the fight, knowing it would only hurt her more. Outside, he gently pulled her to him to comfort her, and, secretly, himself. Though Jessica knew him better than anyone, and knew he also needed the comfort.

"What's wrong, Izzy?" she asked him.

"This is ridiculous," he whispered, but saddened instead of angered. "Why does everything always go wrong when something good happens."

"I guess that's life. Chaos to balance order. Anger to balance happiness. Hatred to balance love."

She pulled his head down and kissed him. He returned the kiss and the two stood outside holding on to each other. They knew that they both wished that the fighting would stop. And in time it would. But for now, Zeke was content on holding on to his future wife and not let anything ruin this rare moment they had.
*Sorry it's been so long since I added! It's been so hectic these past weeks what with the holidays and everything!*


For a while the two of them just stood there, comforting one another. The only thing that mattered was that they were together and away...away from all the maddness.They ignored the stares of onlookers and the screams coming from inside the house.

"Ughh," Jessica finally said, breaking their embrace.

"What is it, what's wrong?," asked Zeke?

"This, all the fighting, everything..."

"Well, we can't help everything." Zeke said trying not to add insult to injury.

"Yeah," Jessica finally said. "But we can get away from here for awhile."

"And do what?" Zeke asked.

"Just follow me," Jessica said practically dragging Zeke behind her.

Truly, Jessica had no idea where they were going, and to her it didn't really even matter. Just as long as they were away from all the fighting...their friends.


*I just want to wish everyone a very HAPPY HOLIDAY and a HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!!!!! :)*

Angeless and Kai were sat in the bar. Angeless was drinking heavily again. Kai was pacing himself.

"You sure you don't want to take it easy? I mean you've got to get back home later "asked Kai?

"When I can't pick up the glass then I'll stop "smirked Angeless.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few hours later Kai had taken a taxi back to his place while Angeless walked his bike back to his house. On the way he stopped off at Jenny's place and sat on the steps for a few minutes throwing pebbles up towards her room.

"What the hell do you want its almost midnight? "she asked in agravated tone?

Checking his watch he remembered that it was that late.

"I wanted to say I'm sorry...and I'm a dick "he sighed swaying slightly before falling over the small bush near the steps.

"Are you drunk? "asked Jenny smirking slightly?

"No....just a bit. Oh this is thick...Hold on I'm coming up "he sighed as he grabbed onto the post.

A few seconds later he was clambering towards her window.

"There...now I don't have to shout.

"What were you saying about being a dick? "asked Jenny?

He smirked.

"You know me...I'm ID...all instinct. No before or after thaught. In plain words...I can be a dick....But A dick that needs you... "sighed Angeless smiling at her.

"Can you stop saying Dick....its starting to sound weird "she smirked.

"Okay...Point is...I love you...and I....well I need somebody who-

"can beat the crap out of you when you get upety "she smiled.

"...Wow...Weird. I was going to say something like that "Smirked Angeless.

leaning into the window he gave her a kiss on the cheek and then tried to work out how he was going to get down without killing himself.

"Umm can I come in and then go out the front door? "asked Angeless?

Jenny smirked and moved away from the window.

"You're adorably funny when you're 'slightly' drunk "smirked Jenny as he head butted the window twice in a row.
Jordan sat in the dark living room with a movie on TV. He didn’t know exactly what movie it was and he knew it didn’t really matter either. In one hand he had a bottle of beer and in the other the remote, staring blankly into openness.

“Jordy?” It was his aunt, “Is that you? Are you still awake?” She said quietly, coming down the stairs in her bath robe.

“Yes.” He said, glancing at the clock that read 12:50, “I’m sorry. Did I wake you?”

“No, that’s okay.” She said, “I was waiting up for you, did you just come in?” He didn’t look at her.

“Not too long ago…” his voice trailed off.

She walked over to him, “Is that a beer?” She sounded annoyed. He just handed it to her without taking his eyes off the open space, it was only half gone and it was only his first. “You’re far too young to be drinking… when we were younger, I always used to tell your dad that whenever…” her voice rambled as she went into the kitchen to poor it down the sink. When she was done, she came and sat down next to him, “Never mind that, that’s not important… where have you been all day?” she asked. Her tone had changed and she sounded genuinely concerned.

“I was with Natalie and Zeke called… said Kai had some huge news to share…” he began to answer without having to be asked twice.

“What was it?” She cut in. He looked over at her then looked away.

“He never got to it… things were pretty crazy over there… I’d rather not talk about it. Eventually I left… wandered around for awhile… then I came home.” He wasn’t about to tell her exactly where he had gone or what he had done or what had happened. But of course his aunt somehow always knew everything.

“Girl’s aren’t worth all this Jordy.” She said knowingly. “They’ll tear you apart.”

“But why?” He said, “Why can’t they just make up their minds?”

“Women are beings of a complicated species…” She smiled, “Try not to get too worked up over it.”

“I’m trying…”

“I know it’s hard to control the heart…” They were quiet for a few minutes. “Did you go to her?” His aunt asked just barely above a whisper.

“I’m sorry…” he whispered back, turning to look at her, “I should’ve just come home.”

She scooted closer to him and put her arm around him. “It’s okay Jordan. I’m not mad. I know I can never take the place of your mother.”

“Is it wrong I can barely remember her?”

“Of course not. You were young. It wasn’t your fault she died hmmm?” She was trying to comfort him.

“I know… I just feel guilty sometimes. When people who knew her tell me how I have her eyes or her laugh or something… and I can barely remember her face except for pictures… Especially when things get tough, I just like to talk to her… I think maybe she’ll understand in some different way than other people… I’m sorry…” He said, “I should talk to you about these things.”

“You know I’m always here for you Jordan, and I always will be as long as I live. But I can’t bring her back… and I don’t blame you for wanting to talk to her, it’s a natural desire.”

“Things just seem calmer there, like I can think clearer…”

She smiled warmly, “I know… just don’t ever forget you’re my boy too okay?” He smiled and nodded. He had to admit she was good at saying just what he needed to hear. “I’m going to head up to bed… good night. Just promise me you’ll stop drinking?” she smiled and winked at him.

“I hardly even like the taste.” He smiled, only partially telling the truth.

She got up, kissed him on the head, and left him alone again with the soft light from the TV and small voices whispering through the speakers.

It used to be that everything made sense. His life was good, his friends were good, school was ending and the weather was finally turning nice again. He had it all figured out—he thought.

Jordan’s aunt always told him how big and strong he was getting, how much older and wiser. He thought by now, all of his ‘growing up’ would be over with. Having to deal with so many misfortunes at such a young age already left him wiser beyond his years in some situations. And he was always happy and content, had things right where he thought they should’ve been. Until lately.

The world used to be right with him, and when it wasn’t he could always count on his friends to cheer him up, make him feel better or reminded him how good everything was. But as of late, things hadn’t been so well. If anything, he had grown further away from his friends, fought more, gotten more confused than ever before in his life, and had no one to pick him up when he felt down. He hated it but didn’t know how to make it all better. He wished he had the answers but he just didn’t. He wondered if any of them really did.
Jenny knew that she was being horrible. She was leading Angeless on, she was holding Jordan back. She was making trouble between friends that formally there wasn't any trouble between. She knew that she was supposed to be the hardass, the one who always knew what she wanted, the one who always took life by the reins. She knew she should choose. So she did.
*************

I, Jenny wrote in a letter to her friends, have decided what exactly it is I want.
I want me.
I want myself back.
I know I've run away before, this is different.
Be friends again. You all know I'm fine on my own. I loved all of you. If you want my secret, ask my mother.
Goodbye.


Jenny made copies of the letter, folded them up, looked at the sleeping Angeless on her floor (he had stayed over instead of going home), and put the letter by him. She kissed his cheek, even though he smelled strongly of drink.
"I love you too, Angeless," she whispered to herself. "But I love Jordan more. And now that he's given up on me...well, then all I have left is myself. I'll miss you baby."
Jenny walked out the door, and left:
like so many others had done before her.
Zeke had slept on Jessica's couch that night. Well, he at least made the attempt. He was up when the small rasp of a knock came at the door at about two in the morning. Jessica's mother started towards the door, but Zeke stopped her smiling.

"I'll get it Mrs. (insert Jessica's last name here). You can go back to bed."

"Thank you, Ezekial," she said."I think I'll enjoy having you as a son-in-law." Zeke blushed at the statement. He couldn't believe Jessica had told her mom, but her mom welcomed Zeke into the family with open arms.

Zeke opened the door to see Jenny standing there. She looked shocked to see him, though he didn't seem to shocked to see her.

"Running again?" he asked her. She sighed. If anyone could read the group of friends like a book, it was Zeke. She just nodded and handed the letter to him. He looked at it, and then at her.

"Are you sure?" he asked her.

"Unfortunately, yes. I don't have any other choice. And before you say I do, and that I should try to work all of this out, please don't. I know I can't, because not only will I break Angeless and Jordan's hearts, I'll break mine in the process."

Tears were beginning to well in Jenny's eyes as she tried to compose herself. Zeke just hugged her.

"At least take care of yourself," he said." I can't make you stay to try and work it out, so I'm not going to. This is a path you have chosen and now you know you have to walk it. Only after finding yourself can you find the answers you're looking for."

Jenny thanked Zeke and left. Zeke decided not to wake Jessica, and tell her about the letter and the talk in the morning. He went back over to the couch and lay down. After what seemed like an eternity, he was finally able to fall asleep.

Jo loved her friends. She really did, but she often felt like she didn't belong. In all the chaos, in all the drama, It was like she faded away. Like she didn't even exist. She hated it. She hated the loneliness it gave her. Gosh, she just plain hated her life.

She went through all the motions. She smiled, laughed, and congradulated her friends in their accompishments. She was happy for Jessica and Zeke, really she was, but why did they have all the happiness. Why couldn't something good happen to her for once? Why?

Jo roamed the streets that night. Walking around aimlessly, her body walking, her mind completely somewhere else. She thought of all that had happened. She thought of her parents. Her new found step-brother. Her friends. She thought of all the times she wished she had someone to talk to. Someone to just listen.

Her mind rejoined her body in one instant. The instant she ran into someone. The instant she looked up to apologize and saw the person she was not prepared to face. Kai. She franticlly tried to hide the tears that had been running down her face.

"What are you doing here?" she quickly asked.

"I could ask you the same question." He brought his hand to her face and wiped away one unhidden tear.

Then and there, Jo lost it and finally, for the first time ever, cried with Someone there.
TUESDAY: June 20th

Jessica woke up the next morning got dressed and went downstairs to find Zeke still asleep on the couch. She went over to him, knelt down and gave him a soft kiss.

"Wake up sleepy head," she said softyly.

Zeke smiled and kissed her back.

"Come get some breakfast," Jessica called as she walked into the kitchen.

Zeke stretched his arms and yawned as he sat down. Jessica poured them each a glass of orange juice and got busy making her famous french toast.

"Hey Jess," Zeke said. "We need to talk."

"Oh, about what?"

"Well..." Zeke started. "This morning Jenny stopped by and..." Zeke paused not really sure if he should tell her the truth.

"Yeah," Jessica said as she set a plate of french toast on the table and sat down.

Zeke took one look into Jessica's eyes and knew he couldn't lie to her.

"She's gone..."

Zeke could see the color drain from Jessica's face and he already knew what had crossed her mind.

"Let me rephrase that," he said. "She's not dead, but..."

Jessica breathed a sigh of releif.

"She's runaway, again. But this time she's not coming back."

Jessica thought this over for a moment and she started to get angry. Before she knew it she heard herself shouting.

"WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP HER!"

Zeke was still trying to stay calm but it wasn't working to well. Soon he found himself shouting as well.

"WHAT DID YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? I COULDN'T STOP HER!"

"WELL YOU COULD HAVE TRIED!" Jessica yelled as she stalked out the door.
'Andrea' was so confused. So much was going on and she felt many mixed emotions. She had gotten the letter that Jenny was leaving later last night and was still trying to figure everything out.

'Why does love have to be so complicated?' She thought.

'Andrea' lay on her bed thinking when she heard a knock on the door. It was her mother. Her mother hadn't spoken much to her since her escape back at the WPP.

"One of your friends is here," her mother said quietly. 'Andrea' went downstairs and opened the door. It was Jessica. She could tell that she had been crying. Whatever it was about, she knew her friend needed her right now.

The two of them went up to 'Andrea's' room and began to talk.

"Have you heard about Jenny?" Jessica was speaking in almost a whisper.

"Yeah" 'Andrea' replied.

Jessica and 'Andrea' sat in silence for a while and then they both started crying. They hugged each other trying to comfort one another, but it didn't seem to be working because the tears kept rolling.

"This...wasn't...supposed...to happen." Jessica chocked beween sobs.

They crying continued for a few more moments before they both calmed down.

"Whatever happened to Flordia?" Jessica asked. "It was supposed to be a trip so we all could get C-L-O-S-E-R. "

'Andrea' was feeling really guilty. Here Jessica was pouring her heart out and she (Andrea) was hiding the biggest secret of her life. It was either now or never.

"Jess... I have to tell you something. In fact I have to tell everyone something."

Kai had never been brilliant at comforting people. He felt awkward and inferior because he couldn't just know what they were feeling. But now he had to try... Jo had inadvertantly run into him and the tears she had at first tried to hide, the same way that he used to hide his own, were tracing down her cheeks freely now... She needed him... So gently pulling her into his arms he led her to a bench, letting her break down fully as they sat.

He remembered how his mother had used to rub circles across his back when his father had upset him when he was too young to understand why... Now he placed his memory onto Jo, running his fingers in small circles across her back and shoulders, just letting her cry. It was good to cry.

Something told him that she needed silence, she wouldn't want him asking too many questions... Sighing he just sat there, holding the beautiful young woman close as she wept. Every so often he'd whisper something small into her ear, hoping that it might help...

"I'm sorry..." She mumbled, finally trying to reompose herself.

"Don't be." He said, blunt but soft with his words, "Honestly it's fine." He added, noticing her sceptical eyes.

"I just cried all over you." She tried to sound vaguely humoured and failed and Kai couldn't help but see the resignation fall across her eyes the same way it clouded through his...

"It's fine. Do you want to tell me what's wrong?" It was her decision, he wouldn't pressurize her. She didn't need it.

She shook her head and curled into him, wrapping her arms around his waist, still needing his presence. A strand of hair tipped into her eyes and hebrushed it back, tucking it behind her ears only to smile as it fell back.

"I'm always here you know..." He murmured gently, "If you ever need me..."

"Thank you." She whispered, her eyes meeting his and holding them. And he knew then that that was what it was all about... She was just as alone as he was, just as incomplete with her mask in place as he was... So he nodded slightly with a smile. He wanted to tell her about his band, wanted to tell her what she meant to him, wanted to... He wanted to kiss her...

But for once in his life... Kaio was terrified about what someone thought...
Angeless had woken up alone. Noticng the letter he opened it and read it. Sitting down on the bed he read it through again. Stuffing the letter into his pocket he walked out of the house.

"I need to calm down...find somewhere to sort my head out "was all he could think.

He headed to the place he did most of his thinking...The ice rink. Renting out a pair of skates he stepped onto the ice and just skated as he went things over. Things were so messed up in his head he was having trouble even thinking straight.

"Did she leave because of me? "he thaught.
His knock on the door was soft, but assertive. When it swung open, Jordan was surprised to see Mrs. Peyton, with reddened eyes suggesting she had been crying, and a drooping body hinting at fatigue. He was taken aback at first but quickly found his voice.

“I want it.” He said, in a tone that revealed both grief and anger. She looked at him like she didn’t know what he was talking about. “Where’s Jenny?” He said, more confident this time.

“She’s…. gone.” Mrs. Peyton said “She’s taken the baby and… gone...” Jordan looked at her confused, he shook his head.

“No.” He said, “No… I need to know….” He paused, wondering if he really did need to know or if he was just grasping for a hand hold where there was only thin air. “I need to know her secret.”

“No… no…” the woman continued, “You don’t want that…”

“I do.” He said, more sure in himself than ever before. “Please…” He pleaded, “Tell me… I think I can help her. I just need to find her.” Mrs. Peyton stared at him for a minute, as if wrestling with her own demons.

“You should come in Jordy.” She finally said. They went and sat on the couch. There were tissues littered around the place, Jordan could tell something about this whole thing wasn’t right. “If you really need to know…”

“I really do…”

“…Jenny’s had some… trouble, over the past few years… Sabine…” She paused over the name, “she’s Jenny’s daughter…” Her voice trailed, as if she herself was hearing this for the first time. “They’ve both gone.”

Jordan couldn’t believe it. How could Jenny—one of his best friends—have hidden something like this for so long?

He sat there. This was too much. “This is all wrong…” he said to himself, “It’s not supposed to happen this way…” Mrs. Peyton looked at him blankly, wondering if he really expected her to say anything to that. “Do you know where she’s gone? Where Jenny might go if she ran?” He asked, ideas flying through his head.

She shook her head at first, but then a flash of recognition came to her face, “Her father… he… used to live upstate I think…” She stared off as if trying to remember if that was right.

“Where? Upstate where?” He was trying to get her to think, to tell him what she knew, but it was as if even his best efforts would never be enough.

“I… I…” She looked over and met Jordan’s eyes, “…I can’t remember…” That was it. He couldn’t take anymore. He got up and stormed out the door.

“F***!!!” He yelled as loud as he could once he was in front of the house. “Ahhh!!!” He fell to his knees on their lawn and his hands came up to cover his face as the tears started to roll. “Damn it Jenny…” He said softer into his hands, “What’s happened to us?” His face was wet and his voice was calmer. “Why couldn’t you just trust us?”

And at that moment, Jordy was pretty sure he hated Genevieve Peyton. Hated her with every ounce of hate in him. Hated her so much he was almost glad he didn’t know where she was or what to do about it. And he sat there for hours it seemed just hating her, just hating the idea of her. He cursed her name. But then it hit him. He didn’t hate Jenny.

No… it was more like love. More like he realized a love so deep he had never known it before. He loved her more than any words could ever explain. He loved her so much that he was angry she couldn’t love him back, just furious she couldn’t trust him the way he wished she would. He loved her so much that he didn’t even care if she had no kids or ten kids. And all he wanted was to know she was okay, to just know where she was and how to find her, and how to help her and how to show her that he cared so much… he’d do anything for her.

He was too upset to drive anywhere, but there was somewhere he needed to go. He pulled out his phone and called Angeless, probably the last person he wanted to see right now, but also the only one who knew his secret.

“Hey Jord.” The answer came.

“Can you please drive me somewhere?”

***

The ride was dead silent. Jordan sat staring out the window, trying not to let his grief or anger bubble to the surface. Angeless just drove, knowing there were no words left for the two of them, not really wanting much of a discussion himself.

They eventually pulled into the parking lot of the prison. Jordan opened the door to leave without saying a word or looking back at Angeless. But Angeless reached out and put a hand on Jordan’s shoulder. Jordan stopped and turned his head slightly towards Angeless but his face was downtrodden, avoiding eye contact at all costs.

“You sure about this?” The question came. Jordan closed his eyes. Angeless had always kind of seemed like an older brother to him, and he knew he was just looking out for Jordy’s best interest.

“I have to.” He nearly whispered.

“I’ll be here.” Angeless said quietly, taking his hand off Jordan’s shoulder.

It wasn’t long before Jordan sat in a room with a single table, two empty glasses and a pitcher of water. There was a two-way mirror, and he knew that if anything went wrong, help would be there in a matter of seconds. He took a deep breath as the door opened and an orange clad prisoner in hand and foot cuffs shuffled into the room.

Jordan didn’t look at him right away, but when he did, he didn’t see the man he expected. He didn’t see the father full of hate and menace, conniving and unable to love. He saw someone older, more broken, more defeated.

“You’ve grown so much…” The man spoke first with a scratchy and unfamiliar voice. This man was not Jordan’s father. No… truly, Jordan had never known his father.

“I don’t mean to sound terse,” Jordan said, “I didn’t come here to catch up, or to fill in the blanks of my life, or to hear apologies or… anything. One day, I’ll come for that… but not today.” He paused, hoping he wasn’t sounding too detached. “I just need to ask you some things.”

“Anything.” The man said. And just from the way he said it, Jordan knew that he understood, and that he accepted that as if he was expecting it anyways.

Jordan paused before the first question finally formed into words. “Did you love her?”

“You should know the answer to that…” The man said. Jordan gave a look like he wanted a definite answer, “Yes. I loved her. I loved her deeper than any ocean… higher than Everest…”

“Then why didn’t you save her?” He said, tears starting to well up again.

The man across the table thought about it before answering, “I tried.” He said simply, “I tried Jordan. But sometimes, people don’t want to be saved.”

“Even when there is so much left for them? I mean, maybe they just don’t see it, right? But… even if you showed them, even if…” his voice trailed.

“Even then.” The man answered.

“So what then? You just give up?” He asked.

“I never gave up on your mother. But I did all I could do for her. She and God took the rest.”

There was silence. If he didn’t give up on my mom, Jordan thought, I can’t ever give up on Jenny… I have to find her.

“If you had the chance… would you go back? I mean, if you could…would you change what happened?”

“Yes. I’d change it all, son. But…” he stopped and thought for a minute. But when he started up again, it was with a different thought. He leaned forward, “Listen… sometimes you have to do all you can, when you can. So then, even if it doesn’t turn out quite the way you liked, you can look back and know you did everything in your power to fix things… You can’t have any regrets about the past, about what could’ve been, if you know you did everything possible to make it all better. You understand?”

Jordan nodded and took a long pause. There was still one more question he had to ask. “Do you regret it then? ….What you did to me?” Jordan asked, just above a whisper.

“Every day of my life.” The answer was sincere.

***

Jordan walked out to Angeless’ car and straight past it.

“Hey!” Angeless yelled, opening the door and standing next to the car, “Jordan! Where are you going?” When no answer came, and Jordy kept walking like he hadn’t even heard Angeless, Angeless got back in the car and started it up, catching up to Jordan and rolling down the window. “Where are you going?” He asked through the open window.

“I have to find her.” He said with purpose, not even turning to look at Angeless.

“Jenny you mean?” Angeless asked back. “How do you expect to do a thing like that?” Jordan stopped walking and Angeless stopped the car.

“I don’t know, but I have to try. I just have to Angeless… that’s all I know.” Jordan said, leaning down to put his face down to the sedan’s level. Angeless just looked at him. Jordan didn’t know how he would react but, he had to say it.

“Well… At least let me give you a lift back to your truck or to the bus station or something… God knows you’ll never find her on foot.”
Jenny had been living with the guilt for two years. The guilt of having a childless father, the guilt of having brought into the world an innocent being who could not help the sins of her family.

In the beginning, when Jenny found out she was pregnant, she had blamed the man (a man she had trusted) for doing this to her. She had regretted every conceivable moment in which she had been alone with him, she regretted showing him any sort of affection. But in the end, she realized she had only herself to blame.

Her mother had discussed abortion with her. But Genevieve couldn't be alone anymore. She wanted this baby. And she knew from the beginning what she would name the child-no matter if it were male or female.

Sabine had been a favorite heroine of Jenny's since she was a little girl. Sabine was a character in her favorite book, she was a character who took life into her own hands, a woman who always had adventures but who never let those adventures run her life. Genevieve wanted her child to carry on these traits.

Luckily, Jenny's pregnancy had been impossible to hide around Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, when she did not have to attend so much school. The New Year had been torture to her. But no one could guess what was keeping her in bed, sick for the most part, and her mother's excuses (though lame) were satisfactory.

Jenny did not miss her mother.
Though she missed her friends terribly.
**************

She wasn't primatively hitchiking with a baby in her arms, nor was she catching dirty bus rides. Jenny's love for Sabine filled every inch of her being, and she knew she needed a plan that would keep the two of them safe.

After gathering supplies and driving to a train station in a nearby, rural town, Jenny was safe from her horrible childhood fears, and on her way to see the one person she knew she needed approval from.

(Well, one person.)

Sabine was sitting in the seat next to Jenny, her small body enveloped in the enormous chair surrounding her. She had a picture book in her lap, and she stared at the bright colors of farmhouse photos with a giggle. Ironic, Jenny thought, when all of the world is rushing past us outside the train window. She turned to her daughter.

"What would they say, huh? If they knew what you meant to me, Beany? I doubt they would understand, even though they're good souls."

Jenny sighed as she threw her head back against her seat. She had a desperate urge to light a cigarette. Instead, she threw her legs up into her own seat and sprawled herself out as much as she could.

"They would say: Jenny, we always loved you and will always love you no matter what." She laughed skeptically. "But wouldn't their opinion of me change, little Bean? And I can't live with that."

Sabine looked up at her mother with big, blue eyes and laughed.

"You really are mine, aren't you, huh?" Genevieve said, as she laughed back and stroked Sabine's hair. "But as much as I love you, I can't help but wonder what they're all doing right now, at this minute. What he's doing right now."

Sabine went back to reading her picture book.
Zeke had decided to go out for a drive in the early afternoon, to calm himself down and to piece everything together. After finding out everything from those of his friends who were still in contact, Zeke tried to slowly think of all of these connections.

Who was Sabine's father? Where was Jordan? What did Angeless think of this whole mess? Where had Andrea been? What did his fiance think of him for letting Jenny go? What did he think of himself?

He stopped by Kai's house to pick him up. He needed someone else to talk to, and Kai was the best resort right now. Pulling up to the driveway, he noticed Jo's car outside. He got out and looked through the windows of Kai's house...

And saw Kai kiss Jo.

Jo looked back into Kai's eyes. She never realized how mesmerizing his gaze was. She saw in them the same loneliness and hurt that haunted her eyes as well. She also saw something else. Something she couldn't exactly name, but something that sent tingles completely down her spine.

Jo's gaze sifted down to Kai's lips. How would they feel against her? Was there even a possiblity of finding out?

"I should probably take you home," Kai almost whispered, interupting her thoughts.

"I-I don't think I can handle going home yet."

Kai nodded understanding she didn't want to be left alone.

"Well, if you want, you can over to my place for awhile then."

She nodded and the two slowly walked to where Jo had parked her car.

The ride to Kai's was silent. Words didn't need to be spoken for the other to understand. Kai's mom greeted Jo warmly, but quickly excused herself.

"Kai, what was the news you were gonna tell everyone before Jess and Zeke announced their engagement?" Jo asked him as the two settled onto the couch.

"It's really not that important now."

"Of course it is. It must have important to you. You called us all together to listen."

Kai didn't answer, just looked at her with those mesmerizing eyes. There was that something in his eyes again and she felt the same tingles.

Kai brought his face down to hers ever so slowly. He was going to kiss her. Jo knew it. She wanted him to, but as he leaned down, all her secrets and fears surfaced in her mind.

"Kai, I'm not sure we should be doing this," she whispered as she herself continued to close the gap between them.

He gently placed his finger on her mouth. "Shhh..." And replaced his finger with his lips further silencing her.

He kissed her, erasing all her fears and apprehension.
Jessica had left Andrea’s house and was now walking back towards her house. Andrea had said she needed to tell everyone something but no one was around, so she decided to tell them all some other time.

As Jessica was approaching her house she saw an unfamiliar car in her driveway. Her mother didn’t say she was expecting company. In fact her mother’s car wasn’t there at all.

‘Calm down’ Jessica was telling herself. ‘Mom’s probably just out and maybe a neighbor stopped by. Yeah that was it, a neighbor.’

Jessica walked up her front steps and went into her house.

“Hello?” She called.

No answer.

‘They’re probably in the bathroom or something’ she thought.

Jessica went upstairs and headed towards her bedroom. She paused outside of her door. It almost sounded as if there were voices coming from inside. Jessica gently pushed open her bedroom door and stepped inside.

She walked in and the sight before her was sickening. She began to feel dizzy as all of her painful memories came flooding back to her.

“Hey, Sis.” her brother said. “We thought you’d never make it home.”

Jessica didn’t have time to scream, her brother’s friends had grabbed her in an instant. She wasn’t going to resist this time. She started kicking and screaming her head off at them.

“GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!!! YOU FREAKS!!!

“Come on baby, you know you missed us.” It was one of her brother’s friends. She couldn’t put a name with his face.

She kept screaming and kicking and punching at them but they wouldn’t back off. Finally after almost 3 minutes of torture everything went black.

***************
Jessica must have been screaming pretty loud because someone heard her.

Zeke was walking back towards Jessica’s house when heard a commotion going on inside. He raced up to Jessica’s front door and rushed in. Once Zeke was inside he could tell the noise was coming from upstairs.

***************

As Jessica lay there half unconscious she was somewhat aware of what was going on around her. Someone else had entered the room. Suddenly she felt as though she were floating. Being carried away.

When Jessica awoke she was not in her room, in fact she didn’t know where she was.

“Huuuhh, huh, where am I?” Jessica sat up with a start.

“Shhh, Shhh. It’s okay, you’re safe.”

Jessica looked over and saw that it was Zeke. He had a big bruise over one eye and his bottom lip was all puffy. She was so happy to see him, she broke down and started crying. After a good cry Jessica felt like she was ready to talk.

“Why did you come back?” she asked.

“I had to, I couldn’t leave my fiancé mad at me.” Zeke smiled. “Who were those guys anyway?”

Jessica took a deep shuddering breath. “Zeke I have to tell you the truth, I can’t hide this anymore.”

“Anything” Zeke looked her straight in the eye, “you can tell me anything.”

And so Jessica began her story. “Those guys were my brother, and his friends. I never told anyone I had a brother...well... because no one was supposed to know. My parents helped me file a restraining order against him and his friends when I was 14.”

Jessica took a deep breath. “They used to...they used to... molest me when I would come home from school. I never told my parents because his friends said they’s hurt me. I got so bad, Zeke, so bad.”

She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes again. She whispered “It got so bad...I tried to kill myself”
Andrea decided take a stroll around the neighborhood, there wasn't much else to do anyway. As she was rounding the corner to Jessica's house she saw some pretty beat up looking boys walking away from her house. She also noticed that one of them was carrying an extremeley large duffle bag. Probably just big enough to fit someone in.

Being the concerned person that she is, Andrea decided to go she if Jessica was alright. She walked up to her front door and suprisingly her front door was unlocked.

"Yoo-hoo, anyone home?" Andrea called.

There was no answer.

'I'll go check up in her room' Andrea thought to herself.

When Andrea got upstairs and went into Jessica's room all she saw was broken pieces of Jessica possesions and droplets of blood on the carpet.

'Take a deep breath' Andrea thought trying to calm herself down.

Soon she was running all over the house screaming "Jessica", but no one answered.

'I'll call everyone' she told herself. 'Oh wait, maybe I shouldn't tell Zeke, he might murder someone.'

Andrea picked up the two cordless phones in the house to call everyone. The first two numbers she dialed where Kaio and Angeless' cell phone. She waited until they picked up.

They both said "Hello" almost the exact same time.

'Remember, stay calm' she told herself, but her thoughts immediatlry went back to the duffle bad the boys were carrying.

"JESSICA'S BEEN STUFFED IN A BAG!!!!!"

"WHAT?!" was the immediate reaction of almost both the boys.

"I need you two over here pronto!"

The kiss was short and over far too soon but of course Andrea had had to call. Jo looked at him from beneath her eyelashes slightly, she looked slightly dazed, as if she didn't completely comprehend what was going on... He Glanced up at the house, half glad he wouldnt have to go in and try and bypass his father with Jo in tow but at the same time seething at the inopportunity of Andrea's call... Then again...

Realisation hit.

"Fuck!" He fumbled with his keys. Sure he'd been shocked before but as reality washed through him he couldn't help but begin to panic.

"What?" Jo looked really worried now. He guessed his face had lost any colour it had had...

"Jess is in trouble. Well that's what Andrea said..."

That's what Andrea said... what if she was just over reacting? He couldn't risk it. He pushed the car into gear and took off as fast as he could.

"Why does this always happen to us?" Jo asked, seemingly more to herself than to him, "Everything bad happens to us. At the same time."

"Not everything's bad." He linked his hand with hers, keeping one on the wheel, "Zeke and Jess will get married... The band got signed..." He was struglling for good things and felt his chest tighten as he mention the band.

What band would there be? Him and Angeless? Zeke wouldn't want to stay on if he was married. There'd be too much travelling away from home...

"Your band was signed!" Her voie held surprise and joy at the same time. He loved her voice... God he loved her... At least he was pretty sure it was love that was making his heart rate soar for no apparent reason, that was making him happy simply because she was there. Even though the situation wasnt good.

"Yeah... Don't know what to do about it though..."

They lapsed into silence, hands still clasped. And that was how they were when they pulled up behind Angeless, who was just climbing out of his car to comfort a distraught looking Andrea's on the road.

Pulling Jo close as they stepped out into the cooler night air he felt something dig into his heart. Their friendship had gone from so strong it could face dinosaurs, to a strained peice of rope that was slowly but surely unravelling... And it was no one's fault. Jo tucked herself in closer under his arm, sharing their warmth as they made their way to face the next big issue.
"First Jenny...now Jessica "stammered Angeless as his voice broke in places.

letting go of Andrea he wne to the back on his car and opened up the boot.

"I'm not loosing any more people I care about "he stammered as he searched through the boot of his car.

"Angeless You need to calm down Think about this "Kai said grabbing Angeless by the shoulder.

"NO...I'm not lossing her "he said with tears in his eyes.

Jordan was driving along the highway, his mind was wandering, and it was all he could do to keep his vision focused on the road and his hands on the wheel. He was thinking of Jenny and of all his friends, of his aunt, of his mom, of his dad and of his life... Where was he going? What did he think he was going to do? He was considering the physical as well as the more philosophical side of things when he just couldn’t take it anymore. He pulled over to the side of the road and brought his hands up to his face, resting his elbows on the wheel.

“What am I doing?” He asked himself. He sat there like that for a few minutes, just vaguely listening to the radio and hearing the seconds tick away. He was beginning to question everything, wondering if anything in his life had ever been remotely like what a real life was like. And, did he really think he could find Jenny? He didn’t know…

He was thinking it all over when a song on the radio caught his ear. “I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads you to where you want to go, and if you’re faced with the choice and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you, and if one door opens to another door closed, I hope you keep on walkin’ ‘till you find the window…” It was like everything he needed to hear.

“And that was Rascal Flatts with ‘My Wish.’” The radio announcer said when the song ended. He tried to remember the title. With the song over, it was like his mind cleared up a little and he all knew was that he had to keep trying. He pulled back onto the road with a little more purpose than before.

He got to the bus station and parked his car, got out and walked up to the teller. He pulled a picture of their group at prom out of his wallet and pointed at Jenny, “Have you seen this girl?” He asked, “She’s probably traveling with a kid, a little girl,” He said, “She’s missing, I’m a friend, I’m just trying to find her…” The teller shook his head.

“Sorry.” He said, “Not around here.”

“Thanks.” Jordan said. He walked back to his truck and pulled out a spiral notebook and flipped to a page somewhere in the middle where a small list of places was scribbled down. He found the one that said “local bus station” and put a line through it. “One down.” He started up the engine and took off down the highway again.

He went to three surrounding towns, twelve gas stations, five bus ports, and two train stations before he finally found someone who could give him any information.

“Yeah.” The teller said, “I think I did see her…” She looked at the picture again.

“I’m a friend,” Jordan said, “She’s missing and I need to find her.” The teller looked at Jordan as if trying to decide if he was telling the truth.

“Come on,” She said as she opened the door and motioned him back. “I’ll show you the surveillance tape.” She led him into a little office and popped in a tape.

“That’s her!” Jordan said when he spotted Jenny on the tape carrying along a little kid. “Is there any way to know what train she boarded?”

“Hmm…” The lady said, “I think I remember her… let me check my records I can probably tell you… it’s not exactly procedure to tell people whereabouts of other people like this but… I’ll make an exception… just this once.” She was a nice older lady and Jordan appreciated her trustworthiness.

“Let’s see…” The lady said, pulling up some computer records, “She boarded the 125 train north towards… Raleigh.”

“Raleigh?” Jordan said, “That’s so far away… why would she go there?” He asked himself. He turned back to the lady. “Can you tell me what time the train left?”

“About an hour ago.”

“And where is the train station in Raleigh?” He asked, he’d never been there. She jotted down the address and told him what exit to take. “Trains are slower than cars right?”

The lady smiled at him, “Depends how fast you drive.”

“Thanks.” He said as he turned to leave, “Thanks for everything!” He called back. He jogged out the doors of the train station and got into the car and started it up.

The sun was just starting to go down so he flicked on the headlights, cranked up the radio and got onto the road as fast as he could. He knew he had to get there before the train got in. If Jenny got off before he got there, he would have no way of knowing which way she went. He’d never been to Raleigh and he would be lost to start with. He couldn’t imagine trying to find someone in a strange city let alone someone who probably didn’t want to be found in the first place.

“Let’s hope I’m lucky.” He muttered to himself as he flew off down the highway.
After Zeke had rescued Jess from her brother and his friends, he spent the time dealing with his and her 'wounds'. He had made his way to a place he knew would be safe from the guys long enough for Zeke and Jess to meet up with the others.

Zeke held Jessica close to him as he waited for the others to arive where he had told them to go. After a few minutes, Angeless stuck his head through the door of the room and saw Zeke and Jessica. Kai and Jo were close behind, as was Andrea.

Jessica told everyone what had been going on, and Angeless and Kai looked ready to kill. But they knew that Zeke had taken care of everything for the moment, so they were content in helping their friends out.

Finally, Zeke thought it would be a good idea to get going. Without knowing the whereabouts of Jenny or Jordan, they had a long time to figure out what to do next.
Jessica just sat there avoiding everyone’s eye’s, not talking. She was embarassed, confused and scared. Everything was going great and then he showed up again. The court had promised she’d never see him again, any of them again. Now not only did Jessica have to worry about all the problems going on with her friends, but with her brother and his goons.

There were many questions circulating around the room in their discussion such as, What do they do now? Were they going to go to Florida without Jenny and Jordan?, or were they going to stay here and wait? If they did stay what were they going to do? Were they going to try to find Jenny and Jordan or just leave them alone?

All of the questions and thoughts were starting to make Jessica’s head spin.

‘Maybe if I just close my eyes for a while’ Jessica thought as she drifted off.
Nicole had the strong urge to tell everyone about what had been going on with her but she could sense this wasn’t the right time, or place. All of them were sitting just talking trying to figure out where to head next. (Well Jessica wasn’t really in the discussion, she had fallen asleep) Poor thing, all the stuff that happened to her, she needed to get a little rest.

The six of them had talked late into the night but by the time everyone was ready to head out they still hadn’t really come to any definite conclusion as to where they were going. Things were so messed up as it was anyway...

Before departing they had agreed to meet up tomorrow to figure out exactly what they were going to do. For now everyone just needed to go home and sleep. Hopefully everything would be better in the morning.
To go home and sleep seemed more than appealing. His dad was away for a couple days on business and that meant time for he and his mum to rest and recuperate anyway. He glanced over at Jo... She'd probably want to go home too... With a sigh he ran his hand through his hair, a nervous gesture, he realised and so he shoved his hands in his pockets.

Of course he felt terrible for never having notied the hurt that Jessica must have been feeling, especially after so many years claiming the title as one of her closest friends, maybe the others were also feeling the guilt. It was song worthy. Maybe he ought to write about it... An idea sprang into his head as he was distracted by the thought. He could write a whole album about their trials and tribulations... Guilt, hopelessness, friendship, rivalry and dreams; their lives were woven with the threads of those emotions and feelings. It was almost cruel the amount of things the group had been through… Jessica’s brother, Angeless and Jordan were in love with the same girl, not mention Jordan’s father and Angeless’s conflicting hobbies, Jenny had a child and didn’t know her own heart, Zeke was an ex-super secret agent… It was beginning to sound like a soap opera but felt only too real as he said farewell to the previously noted ex- super secret agent and passed a worried glance at the sleeping Jessica,

“You’ll call us if anything’s up right?” He asked quietly, solemnly. So much had gone wrong already and rifts were growing between them as quickly as the icecaps were melting.

“Of course,” Zeke smiled as he spoke, the love he had for Jessica burning behind his eyes.

At least one relationship was perfect.

Kaio nodded and made for the door. He noticed that Jo had already gone and he let his shoulders slump slightly, no point in holding up pretences when no one was around… Only then did he realise that she hadn’t gone at all. She was leaning across the bonnet of his car, her eyes closed as a breeze blew over her skin. Slipping into his familiar face he felt in his pocket for a cigarette… Finding a slightly squished previously made rollie under his zippo he settled himself beside her, lighting up and taking a well earned drag.

“Can I help you, miss?” He said, slightly jokingly as he let the smoke slide through his lips.

“You certainly can.” She smiled, without opening her eyes and he knew, deep down, as she said that, that no matter what, they would get out alright… They all would… Whether they knew the truths behind lying eyes or not… Eventually… He took another toke, everything would be ok.


Angeless had just crashed out on the porch of his house. He didn't want to go back in.

"This is my fault...Dammit...all those times I told her how much she and sabine looked alike. I was rubbing it in...and I didn't even know it "he sighed with his hands over his face.

Jordan deserved her love. Atleast he was out there looking for her. What was he doing sitting around moping for himself. Opening the door slowly he saw that the Tv was on and and that his mother was laying on the couch.

"Mum...I told you not to wait up for me... "he sighed as he turned off the Tv.

Turning around he saw that her eyes were open moving closer he saw that there was a small amount of blood on her face and part of the couch.

"Mum? "he asked again as he touched her shoulder?

She felt cold and his heart sank. How could his life go so wrong. He had to get out of there it was too much for him to handle like that.

He Dialed the number of the ambulance and then just sat out front on the porch with a Ciggarete in his mouth. He didn't move once apart from to put in a new ciggarete when the one he was smoking was finished. He barely even noticed the ambulance turn up or even hear the paramedics.

"...Any next of kin? "asked one of the paramedics?

"Neighbers say that its just him...He's her son has he even moved yet? "answered the shorter man.

"Only to light up again thats it...nothing not even twitch. I don't even think he can hear us "sighed one of the paramedics.

It wasn't true he could hear them he just felt that he couldn't careless at the moment.
Jordan pulled into the train station and parked his truck as close as he could get to the station. The sun had nearly disappeared over the horizon and the beginnings of night were starting to creep in. As he made off at a brisk walk towards the terminals, he wondered what exactly he thought he might do if he did find Jenny.

He guessed that first he’d probably try and convince her to come back home. If that didn’t work he guessed he might stay and try and help her get a place to stay the night or at least help talk her through whatever she needed at the moment, figuring he'd stay as long as he needed to. In the end he decided he’d do whatever seemed right at the time. He knew he had to be careful though, he didn’t want to push her away or make her angry at him, so he knew he’d have to choose his words with care.

He got into the station, it was fairly empty. “Figures,” He thought… it was Tuesday night. Then he realized—it was Tuesday night. They were supposed to be leaving town… but for Florida and as a group. “Wow…” he thought. The past few days flew through his head and he was surprised that so much had happened in just a few days. Everything had once been good and planned and happy but now… what had changed?

People were coming and going as Jordan made his way over to the screens to check to see if there was a train coming in that Jenny might be on. He found it—delayed.

“What could delay a train?” He asked to himself out loud. But then he figured it was probably better this way, now he knew he hadn’t missed Jenny. He went over to the area it would be coming into and took a seat in a far corner with a good view of everything. He closed his eyes and just sat there, the day had been long and he was tired as hell.

The station was a half outdoors, half indoors type thing, basically outside but with a roof overtop. It was a pretty warm night, even for summer. A small breeze blew through the seating area and he welcomed the breath of fresh air.

Just when he had settled in a bit, his phone started buzzing away in his pocket. He pulled it out and saw the caller ID: Zeke. He knew what Zeke would say, “You’re crazy; you shouldn’t be doing this. Where are you? You need to come home…” or something along those lines. He might even put Jess on to say something like “Jordy… we’re worried, is everything okay? Please… come home.” But it wouldn’t work, no… not this time. He rejected the call and it went directly to his voice mail. He closed his eyes again, he didn’t have time to worry about what Zeke or anyone would say.

A few minutes later his phone went off again and, again, it was Zeke. But Jordan just ignored the call. A few minutes after that he called again but again he ignored the call. Eventually he had seven missed calls and seven new voicemails. Four from Zeke and three from Jessica. Maybe they really were working together to get him to come home, just like he had suspected. He didn’t even want to listen to the voice mails.

He just put his phone away for the seventh time when a text message came through. Ok. It started, don’t answer your phone, wherever u r I hope u can still read… u need to call me. It was from Zeke’s number. When he was done with that one, another came through. Im not gonna say what u think I am. Something bad happened. Real bad. Call me! “What now?” Jordan wondered. He didn’t feel much like talking so he sent a text back to Zeke. What is it? Jordan asked.

Good ur alive…the answer came back, but guess who isn’t… Angeless’ mom just died. Jordan didn’t find it very funny but he supposed Zeke didn’t mean it to be anyways. That was bad though, Zeke was right.

He speed dialed Zeke’s number and he picked up on the second ring.

“Hey Jordy…” He said.

“What happened?” he asked, his voice low and tired.

“I’m not sure…” Zeke said, sounding just as drained as he was, “He hasn’t said a word to any of us since we got here.”

“Is everyone there?”

“Everyone but you and Jenny…” He paused, and when Jordan didn’t say anything to that he asked, “Did you find her yet?”

“Can I talk to him?” He asked, avoiding the question with one of his own.

“Did you hear what I asked you?” Zeke said, sincerely wanting to know the answer to the question.

“Just put him on, please.” Jordan didn’t want to talk about Jenny. Not to Zeke, not right then. There was a pause on the other end and Jordan could hear Zeke still breathing into the receiver. Then he heard a small rustle and assumed the phone was next to Angeless’ ear.

“You there?” Jordan asked when nothing was said, and only silence returned his question. “Look…” he went on, not knowing exactly what to say, “I know it seems like the world could end right now and you wouldn’t care, but just… things will get better…” His voice trailed, “I’ll come home.” He said, “I’ll come home and you can live with me and my aunt…” he suggested, “Really, I mean it.” Still nothing. “Damn…” Jordan thought to himself, “He must be so messed up right now…” “Just hang in there… please.” He said, “It’ll be all right again… soon enough…” He wondered if he believed it himself.

He heard the phone click on the other end and he knew it had been hung up. He hung up his own phone and just held it in his hands, staring. He thought about just getting up and going home right then. Angeless was his friend, even if they were at odds with each other at times, he was still his friend, and he had been there for Jordan when he needed him. Now his mom had just died… Why does this have to be so hard? Jordan asked himself. I lost my mom too, maybe I can help him… maybe I know what to say…

He was about to get up and go when the train pulled into the station. “Damn.” He said out loud, it was about to get complicated.
Jenny carried Sabine from the train, the small girl’s sleeping head resting on her shoulder. In her other hand, was her luggage, which dragged slightly on the ground. Jenny was tired and hot, she found herself insatiably thirsty. As the conductor gave her his hand to help her step down, Jenny caught a glimpse of familiar hair. She felt suddenly weak and exhausted, and the color drained from her face.

There, staring at her, was Jordan. He walked slowly towards her, his hand outstretched.

“Want me to take that from you?” he asked softly, reaching for the handle of the suitcase.
Jenny stood where she was, keeping a tight hold on her belongings.

“Why are you here?” she asked. Her mouth was dry and her voice was scratchy.

Jordan ignored the question and took her elbow. “Sit down, you look strange.”

Jenny didn’t have the strength to respond with a witticism.

“At least let me hold her,” Jordan gently took the baby from Jenny and shifted it into his arms. “She’s light.” He said to no one in particular.

Jenny tried to straighten herself up, tried to look strong and overpowering. “Look, Jordan. I know what you’ll say….”

Jordan rested his hand on Jenny’s shoulder. Jenny could see his eyes were tired. “I didn’t come to say anything, Jenny. Just that I miss you. And I wanted to see you to tell you....”

Genevieve tried her best to smile. “Yes, you are quite something.” The two of them went and sat down on a bench. Sabine still slept soundly.

“How is everyone?” Jenny asked.

Jordan ignored her. “Where are you going?”

“My father’s.”

Jordan shifted Sabine and looked at Genevieve. “Why Jen? Why put yourself through that?”

Jenny shrugged and looked down at her hands. “I guess I want him to see what he’s done to me, you know?”

Jordan bitterly laughed. “Don’t I.”

Jenny looked up and rapidly took Jordan’s hand. “Oh, Jordan. I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s okay.”

They were silent for awhile, holding hands. Jenny could see that Jordan was restless. He kept shifting his weight, not disturbing Sabine, but fidgety enough for his old friend to notice. The trains filed in and out of the station, and Jenny could only just sit and watch them go by.

“What is it?” she finally asked.

Jordan was snapped out of some kind of reverie. “What’s what?”

Jenny rested her hand on Jordan’s fidgeting leg. It stopped moving. He laughed a little. But suddenly, as he looked into Jenny’s eyes, his smile turned to a deep, deep frown. “You’ve hurt a lot of us. I don’t know if they can forgive you.”

Jenny looked down again. “Do you forgive me, Jordan?”

Jordan looked down on the tired, limp form close to him. He bent over to kiss her, but before his lips could reach hers, he felt his voice coming up in a bubble of pain and suffering. “Angeless’s mother died.”

Jenny looked up into his face, now closer, and her eye grew wide as a doe’s. “What?” she whispered.

“She died today. She died.” Jordan found himself repeating it over and over again, the word dead quickly flowing from his lips until he felt he was going crazy.

Jenny took his hand. “Jordan?” she didn’t understand. “Jordan, it’s okay.” She began to cry. “Jordan.” He handed her Sabine.

“I have to leave,” he said. He watched as Jenny cried into her daughter’s shoulder. He stood up from the bench and reached out his hand. “If you can’t come with me, then at least tell me the truth, Genevieve.”

Jenny stood up, still crying. She lay her daughter down on the bench. In one quick movement, she threw her arms around Jordan and embraced him. He held her sobbing back to him. “I love you,” she said. “I love you. And Angeless’s mother died. Why is everything so hard?”
Zeke still couldn't believe the news of Angeless' mother. This was terrible, and it was only getting worse. He looked at himself in the mirror, or at least at the disheveled, tired face that looked back at him. He hadn't had any good sleep in the past week.

Walking back to the living room where Jo, Kai, and Jessica sat. He sat sat down on the couch by Jessica and put his head in her lap. She slowly stroked his hair, comforting him. She didn't how how good that felt to Zeke.

"Why is everything so double-edged?" he mumbled to himself. Jessica looked down at him and gave him a weary smile. She understood how he felt about the situation. And she loved him for everything he was doing to help.

As he lay there, all of the sleep that he had lost over the past week suddenly hit him like a brick wall. He fell asleep on the couch, as Jessica cradled his head.
It had been a long day and no one felt like doing anything at the moment. Even though it wasn't spoken, everyone knew that something was going to have to be done about Angeless' mother. They had to get a funeral together but... they'd deal with it in the morning.

***************
Wensday: Jun 21st

Everyone had spent the night at Zeke's house, no one felt like going home. Angeless must have come in the middle of the night to crash because he was asleep on the floor when Jessica woke up.

Jessica was tired of sitting so she gently slipped a pillow under Zeke's head and got up. She was careful not to disturb the other and made her way towards the kitchen. she had nothing better to do so why not make breakfast.

When Jessica went back into the living room everyone was awake except Zeke, he was still fast asleep. For a moment Jessica just stared at him, wacthing how peaceful he was.

"Awwwww.... isn't he cute" Angeless said, a sly grin spreading across his face.

Quitety Angeless went over to Zeke, bent down, pinched his cheek and in the most girly voice he could manage said "Wake up sunshine!"

The room had to supress a giggle as Zeke puckered up thinking it was Jessica.

"I'm not kissing you man" Angeless said, hitting Zeke lightly across the face.

"Holy S***!" Zeke screamed, as the whole room burst into laughter.

Well at least Angeless got some of his humour back.

So much for 'everything will be ok'. As soon as they had settled down the night had turned even more grim than before, with Zeke, sounding even more tired and run down than ever, telling them to come back, Angeless needed them. Angeless's mother was dead. Dead. He rolled the word around his head. He had always had a strange fascination with the word, its meaning and how humanity perceived it. Then again, how often had he come face to face with it at the end of his father's anger? He wasn't sure... There was only one time recently... That time at the hospital, about three months more Angeless had come off his skates...

Christ, that seemed so long ago now that he looked back. To think that school had only just finished forever, that not so long ago he was walking with his friends to school, wondering whether to go to the tree house instead of maths or french... He sighed, when Angeless had come off his skates... Well that had been the beginning of this, hadn't it? Things had been normal and simple and then things tarted unravelling one secret, one issue, one problem at a time.

He would have to keep his secret inside. If anything was more important it was to make sure his issues didn't add to the problems of his friends. Maybe he would have to give up his dream of playing in a band. Maybe he'd end up a washed out musician but he knew he'd have his friends a lot longer than he'd have a career. Or at least he hoped he would.

*

Angeless still had a sense of humour. Kaio grinned as he realised that some things would always stay the same. He should have known that his friend would try to keep going. That was just the way he was. He glanced over at Jo, who was giggling helplessly as Angeless continued to complain about how everyone simply couldn't keep away from him. Kaio laughed again. Knowing that any laugh was important right now. Things were happening. Things were changing. It was going to become intrinsic to their friendship that they hold together and ake sure they laugh at the small things. That way the bigger things wouldn't matter so much.

With a yawn he leant bakc agains the wall and watch the group around him. It seemed strange without Jordan and Jen but... He supposed they had things to sort out. Christ what would Jen do now? If she came back... would she... who would she choose? Would it be for the right reasons? He frowned, letting th rest of the world fade away again. This was so messed up.
Angeless had gone out onto the porch again and was smoking that last of his ciggaretes. His mothers death had shaken him harder than anything else had. The possiblity of himself dieing was something he had acepted. Right now he was dealing with things as they came.

"...all life can do now is rip of my nuts "he sighed flicking the butt into the air.

"You really are optermistic "answered Zeke.

"You mean a Pessimist...and personaly. I'm fine with that "he sighed.

"You know its alright it you want to cry...it doesn't make you any diffrent "he said looking at Angeless.

Angeless smiled briefly before he could stop himself he was in tears.
“I love you.” Jenny said softly, “I love you. And Angeless’s mother died. Why is everything so hard?”

Jordan kept his arms wrapped around her and she held him tighter. He didn’t know the real answer.

“It’s life.” He finally answered after a long silence, “If it’s wasn’t hard… we’d never know how good it could be.” That was the best answer he could offer, and even that wasn’t good enough. It was something his aunt used to tell him when he was younger. When he’d get hurt or when he was feeling down about something she’d always tell him, “It’s okay Jordy, this is what life’s about. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard, but without the hard stuff, we can’t enjoy the good stuff as much right?” She said it better though. She always knew the right words.

Jenny didn’t say anything. They just stood there like that for awhile, Jenny was crying; Jordan rested his head on hers and kept his arms as tight as he could without smothering her. All he wanted was to stay like that for as long as he could. Just holding her in his arms and keeping her safe, helping her feel like at least something was right in the world.

They stood motionless for hours maybe (time seemed to have no measure for the two of them) until Sabine began to stir on the bench seat. Jenny turned and Jordan reluctantly let his grip fade. The small girl began to cry a little.

“Shhh…” Jenny soothed as she picked up her daughter, “It’s okay…”

Jordan had never taken Jenny to be the type of girl who would one day obviously make a good mom, but as he watched her tend to the child, he could see it, and knew she would be just fine.

She caught his eye and made a head motion that invited him to sit down again, both Jenny and Sabine had stopped their tears for the time being. He sat down.

“Can you say hi to Jordan?” She asked the little girl, “Can you say Jor-dy?” Jordan smiled. The girl tried his name but it came out sounding more like “Jody.”

“Guess that works.” He said, still smiling.

They sat in silence for a few more minutes. “It’s getting late,” Jordan finally said, “Should we find a place to stay?” Jenny nodded.

As they left the train station, Jordan asked one of the ticket tellers where the closest hotel was and got the directions. They made their way to Jordan’s truck and loaded everything in.

“I don’t have a car-seat for her,” Jordan said, “Maybe you can just hold her on your lap? I promise I’ll drive real safe.”

“That sounds good.” Jenny said, “I don’t think the place is far.”

“We can go buy her one tomorrow if we need to.” He said as he opened the door and got in.

They made their way to the hotel (it was actually a fairly nice place for being so cheap) and got a room.

“I’ll take the bed by the door,” Jordan said, “You and Sabine can have the other.”

As they got settled in, there were very few words spoken between the two of them. Jordan figured it was best to not ask so many questions, and realized he didn’t need all the answers right now. Eventually Jenny and Sabine crawled into their bed and Jordan lay down on his. Sabine was fast asleep already and they turned out the lights.

“Jordan…” Jenny said.

“Yeah?” He answered.

“Thanks… thanks for coming to find me, for watching out for us… for… for being so nice…” her voice trailed.

“You don’t have to thank me Jenny…” he said back, “I’m sure you would’ve done the same for me, right?” he paused, not really expecting an answer, and then continued, “Besides… I care too much to just let you go without saying goodbye.” She was quiet for a minute.

“I do love you, Jordan.” She said, “I mean it.” He was quiet.

The minutes passed and they didn’t talk anymore. Eventually, Jordan was pretty sure Jenny had finally fallen asleep. But as tired as he was, sleep just wouldn’t come. He just kept thinking and thinking and thinking… about all kinds of things. His past, his present, his future… nothing made much sense and nothing seemed to be going quite right with his life.

He rolled over to face Jenny’s bed, her arm was around Sabine. He thought about Jenny and realized even she didn’t make sense right now. But as much as she confused him, she also made things make sense, made things seem like maybe the whole world wasn’t screwed up—that maybe, just maybe, one small part of it was okay.

He got up quietly and made his way to Jenny’s bed. He just wanted so bad to be close to her right now and let her know all the things he held inside. He rolled in beside her and wrapped his arm around her, putting his head close to hers.

“I forgive you, Jenny,” he whispered, “and I’ll always love you.”
Jenny was dreaming about something irrelevant, something that used to give her joy, soccer perhaps. All she knew was that it felt like summer and she could smell freshly cut grass.

But soon she felt a movement beside her that made her stop sleeping. In a dizzy drowsiness she felt body warmth against her own and a faint whisper beside her. Without opening her eyes she carefully removed her arm from around Sabine and switched sides.

"I was wondering when you'd come join me," she whispered gaily to Jordan. She pressed her ear to his chest. "I can hear your heart beating."

Jordan took a hand and tangled his fingers in her hair. "Even in these times you can find a joke." Jenny pulled him closer.

"What else is there to do?" she asked. Her eyes were still closed and she could feel the vibrations of Jordan's breathing.

"Look at me Jenny," Jordan said, but she felt as if she were experiencing sleep paralysis. "Genevieve, look at me."

Jenny slowly moved her gaze upward. "Kiss me, then make your decision," he said. He pulled her closer until she was struggling for breath.

"I won't," she gasped.

"Why not?" He gripped her hair and lower back.

"Because what about Angeless? What about Sabine?"

Jordan brought her up to his face in a violent kiss.

"We'll decide that later."

Genevieve laughed to herself.

"I love you Jordan," she whispered, "and I want to go home. I want to console Angeless, and I want to confront my past. But I'll need your help."

Jordan kissed her again more softly.

"And I want this to work," he said.

"We'll make it work," Jenny answered, her old spirit and determination returning.

Jordan smiled and embraced her. He whispered into her ear, "Now. Why couldn't you have decided that sooner?"
Zeke woke up again later that afternoon. After that little embarrassing moment this morning, he had eaten breakfast and was told by Jessica to go back to bed. He did so almost willingly. He felt he really needed the extra sleep.

Waking up, he found that Jordan, Jenny and Sabine had just arrived. He walked over to them and hugged them all. Jordan gave him a comical 'easy there, killer' look. Zeke just smiled. They were all reunited at last.

Zeke looked for Jessica in the living room, but she was not there with the others. He made his way to the kitchen. She was in there, making herself a cup of coffee. He slid his arms around her waist and kissed her neck.

"Jordan and Jenny just got here," he told her.

"I know. It's good to have them back. The groups finally all back together again. We can start making plans."

"Which plans?" Zeke smiled. He knew there were so many. The wedding, the band(Kai had told Zeke that morning), the funeral, and there was the possible trip to Florida, which Zeke had felt had probably been scratched.

"Oh, all of them. Except maybe Florida. That idea probably went down the drain when it was first hatched."

Just then, Jordan and Jenny walked into the kitchen to say hi to Jessica.
It was great to have Jordy and Jen back, really it was, everyone was back together again. Well things were a little akward at first with everything going on but... you know it all works out.

Everyone was sitting in the living room not really talking, just thinking I guess. Sabine was just oblivious to everything playing on the floor near her mom.

Jessica felt like the silence needed to be broken. No on else was going to say something so why shouldn't she.

"Listen guys, I know this probably isn't the most positive situation we're in but..." She was at a loss for words.

Quietly she started "I think that if were going to make it through this summer we all have to be completley honest with each other. That means while we're all sitting here, I think we should all come clean about anything we might be hiding."

Everyone was quite, eyes darting around the room, avoiding each other's eyes. No one spoke but Jessica knew they all heard her.

Maybe, just maybe if they could make it through the next week... then maybe everthing would be okay.
'Why is life so complicated??!!!' Andrea was thinking to herself about all that was going on.

'Completley honest' Jessica had said. If only she knew that it wasn't that simple.

Why should Andrea bother everyone with her problems. Everyone knew her as Andrea and if she went on to explain to them about Nicole and the WPP and all that... it would just upset themm more.

There was no need to casuse alarm and whatnot. Besides, Andrea was sure that there were bigger problems that the group needed to deal with at the moment.

She could always tell them later on. There was sure to be another time when they would all sit down and talk like this. Wouldn't there?


Honest? Honest?! How the hell could he be honest with them when he could barely admit it to himself half the time. Kaio could feel anger, guilt and self-hatred welling in the pit of his stomach. If he told them then their oppinion would change, he wouldn't be Kaio at all. Or maybe he was underestimating them. Could he trust them? He needed to think. He needed to understand. Maybe if someone else spoke first he would hve enough courage to speak up.

"I think it's a good idea too actually..." Zeke spoke up after a while settled in the smothering silence, "After all if we all come clean then we wont have so many surprises. We don't want another episode like when Angeless broke his arm..."

Kai thought he could almost hear a trace of guilt in his friend's voice but he wasn't sure. He wasn't sure of anything right then. All he knew was that he was faced with a handful of options.

He could tell them the truth and put his life in their hands, making them worry, making them pity him, giving them control...

He could lie. And pray that they didn't realise, though he was pretty certain that they would and therefore that plan seemed fairly null-and-void.

Or he could, of course, walk away. It would put them all on alert, they'd probably ask more questions. But it would buy him some much needed time. He glanced at his watch, his father would be coming home soon though... He didn't really want to walk out of the frying pan and into the fire. Though he wasn't sure he had a choice.

"Could we... could we think about this a little more first?" Jo's voice rose out of the new hush that had fallen after Zeke, she sounded almost as uncertain as he felt, "Could we not go away for a while and then... come back later and talk it over then. Only... maybe some time would..."

Well he could take that as a hint and he murmured an agreement, hearing a couple of others do the same. Andrea included. Andrea... She seemed to normal most of the time but it seemed from the look in her eyes that she too had something hidden.

Kai sighed and rose to his feet and made his way to the door in silence. Jo's words had made it obvious, he needed to really think this through so, ignoring the looks of surprise from his friends, he quietly opened the door and smiled slightly, sadly, at the group, "I'm not ready just yet. I'll come back later but right now... I need a couple of strikes and something hard on the rocks... to loosen my tongue maybe..."

And with that he was out of the place, making his way to his car and starting the engine with a sigh. He didn't know if he had done the right thing but he had been telling the truth just then. Sighing again he looked up at the house, knowing that they were probably all confused but then they were all feeling the same. Carefully lighting his last cigarrette he revved the engine and was off home. He knew what awaited him but it was the only place he as sure the others wouldn't find him...

God he hoped he had made the right decision.
Angeless had been in the kitchen washing up Sabine's bottles. He had come back in and was busy entertaining Sabine. He'd forgoten how energetic she was...something she had inherited from her mother he guessed.

As much as he wanted to be angry with Jenny he found that he couldn't. He was just happy she was back. Besides...he was to busy giving a horsy ride to Sabine to be concerned about much else.

"...hey...don't you be trying to tickle me...oh...oh I think its the tickle monster! "he laughed as he began to tickle Sabine.

He looked up to see that most of them were watching him with smiles.

"What? "he asked as he was distracted from Sabine?

Sabine seemed to have grown more mischeivous sinse they'd been away as she took the chance to jump unto his back again.

"I didn't realise he was good with kids? "asked Jessica?

"Well he did used to help out at a after school club...I guess we just never thaught about him enjoying it "smirked Zeke as Angeless layed down on his belly.

"I give! I Give...you beat me. "he laughed As sabine poked him several times.

*The tickle monster is real...for I am him*
Jordan just watched as Angeless played around with Sabine.

“Hey Jordy…” Jessica caught his attention, “Could you help me with something for a minute?”

“Yeah sure Jess…” He said as he got up and followed her into the empty kitchen, “What’s up? Need me to cook? Clean?” He joked. She smiled at him.

“I was just wondering if everything’s okay… you seem a little out of it.” She said as she started to ruffle through some pots and pans, rearranging them and putting them away and what not.

“I’m fine.” He said, “Probably just tired like we all are… Why do you ask?”

“You don’t seem…” She started but the rest of her words were somewhat lost as Jordan’s vision blurred and he felt his legs give out.

“Jordan?” He heard Jessica say, “Jordy!”

He felt himself falling forward but couldn’t stop it. Jessica tried to catch him, but he was a little bigger than her and ended up just making them both fall to the floor. She didn’t fall far and caught him just enough to slow him down so neither of them got very hurt.

“Jordy?” She asked as she realized the head she held in her lap had his eyes closed.

“Someone! I need help in here!” She yelled through the doorway. In a matter of seconds, Jenny and Zeke were through the door, just as Jordan was starting to come around again. Angeless stayed back with Sabine and Andrea and Jo.

“What happened!?” Zeke asked sounding a bit shocked at the sight.

“I uh… just… just got a little dizzy for a second.” Jordan said as he sat up. “I guess everything’s finally catching up…” He said, “I’m alright…” He rubbed his forehead and turned his gaze for a second and caught Jenny’s eye. He wondered if she knew… He tried to smile at her but she just kind of shook her head with a worried expression on her face. He looked away.

Zeke helped Jordy to his feet and let him lean on him as they made their way back to the living room.

“You better lie down…” Zeke said as he helped Jordy sit down on the couch.

“You okay man?” Angeless asked as they all emerged from the kitchen.

“Uh… yeah…” Jordan answered.

Everyone settled in around the living room and Jordan lay down to stretch out on the couch as someone threw him a pillow. He could feel their eyes on him even though he wasn’t looking in their direction.

“I’m fine.” He said, then turned to look at them, “Really…” He felt them all look away and settle back in.

“Okay.” Jordy said after a minute, “I got one.”

“One what?” Jo asked him.

“A secret… that is what we were about to talk about right?” Everyone turned their eyes or ears towards him. “Okay so… when we were freshman…” he started, “I went over to Zeke’s house one day, and no one answered the door but I knew he was home. So I found a way into the house and went looking for him… eventually I found him in his mom’s room… get this… tweezing his eyebrows.” He paused amidst the laughter that followed, “If I remember right… I think you… might’ve had your legs shaved too....” He added on the last part just for fun.

“Hey!” Zeke said, “That was never supposed to come up again!” Jordan laughed. “Yeah well—well… when were in seventh grade there was this girl Jordy liked and one day he went up to talk to her and-“

“Zeke!” Jordan’s voice almost squeaked. Everyone laughed and he started blushing. “That was an awkward time for everyone…” he tried to justify.

“Okay, okay, I got one…” Jessica spoke up, “When we were in elementary school…”

“Why do we keep going backwards?” Angeless asked and they all giggled a little.

“When we were in elementary school…” Jessica continued, “We were doing PE and we were playing soccer…”

“Oh no…” Jordan cut in, “No, we will not go there.” He smiled and sat up, “And why is this ALL about me?” He questioned with emphasis that made everyone laugh again.

“Because you’re the easiest to pick on Jord…” Jenny said from the other side of the room, but he could tell her mind was elsewhere.

“Yeah, and all the funny stuff always happens to you.” Andrea added.

“And your reactions are funny.” Angeless said.

And it’s a pretty natural thing to see you making a fool out of yourself…” Zeke also added.

“Hey, I thought we were on the same side!” Jordan accused.

“Yeah…” he said with his voice trailing a little, “That was BEFORE you told the eyebrow story.” Jordan laughed.

“We were playing soccer!” Jess started up again, “And… And Jordy thought he was this hot shot player like he told me before we went out there that he was the best one at his old school and he was about to beat on everybody here too…”

“Jess…” Jordan said, “Really… don’t continue.” He was almost serious.

Jessica started laughing as she continued, “So we went out there and he was running down the field and-” her thought was interrupted by her own laugher, “And all of a sudden here comes this girl!” She emphasized girl, “And she steals the ball and Jordan goes flying forward…” She stopped to laugh again, “Oh my god! It was the funniest sight, you should’ve seen it! Right on his face!” Everyone was laughing, even Jordan but he was slightly shaking his head too. “Turns out it was Jenny!” She finally finished.

“Oh God!” Andrea squealed in laughter. Jenny was smiling and Jordan caught her eye and smiled at her.

“At least when she goes pro I can tell that story to my kids and they’ll think I’m awesome…” He smiled, always one to have some kind of a comeback.

They all started winding down their laugher until silence once again took over the room. Jordan lay back down with a grin on his face. He missed this.

After a few minutes of silence, Jordy was staring up at the ceiling and thought he’d break it.

“Zinnias.” He said short and simple and out of the blue from his spot on the couch.

“Zinnias?” Zeke questioned like he had no idea what a Zinnia was.

“They’re flowers…” Jessica spoke softly to him but everyone heard it, Jordy smiled.

“Yeah.” He said, “That’s my secret.”

“Your secret is flowers?” Zeke asked again, “What kind of a guy are you?”

“Yeah, yeah…” Jordy said, “Boys don’t cry and they don’t like flowers either right…” He chuckled a little.

“It’s okay if you like flowers Jordy…” Andrea said.

“Yeah Jord.” Jessica said, “Boys can like flowers.” She directed the second part more at Zeke.

“Thanks but… I don’t really need anyone’s approval to like flowers or not like flowers.” He said with a grin. “Zinnias.” He repeated, “All colors and sizes too… the bright ones are the best…” He smiled inwardly.

Somewhere deep inside, Zinnia’s reminded him of his mother before she died. These days, his mom was kind of like a dream of a dream to him—too far away to touch and barely even able to recall all the details. But he remembered Zinnias. And when he thought about them, it was like that dream wasn’t so far away, and if he closed his eyes he could go back there again.

“They were my Mom’s favorite flower.” He said reflectively, “She said, ‘Zinnias are good for us, Jordan. They mean constancy, goodness, remembrance… that and… how could you be sad with all these lovely colors around?’ I must’ve been four or five when she told me that… I’m surprised I even remember… but ever since I’ve always liked them…” His voice trailed off and there was silence for awhile longer. “When I die… I think I’d like to be buried with them…”

“Jordan…” Jenny said from across the room, he turned his gaze away from his dreamy spot on the ceiling and turned to look at Jenny.

“I mean it though…” he said, “I do like them.”
Jenny was standing by the door, watching Angeless playing with Sabine, watching Jordan sitting on the couch.

"I mean it though..." he said. "I do like them."

She shook her head, an anxious feeling taking her over. "Please," she whispered to no one in particular, "please be quiet."

Jordan saw her, and came over, lightly brushing her shoulder. "It's okay," he said. But Jenny knew it wasn't.

"This kid's got great game," Angeless laughed as Sabine threw a ball to him. "Did you see that pitch?"

"It's the happiest we've seen him in days," Zeke whispered as he came closer to Jenny. "Thank God you're home."

"Oh Zeke," Jenny said, and she hugged him. "We need to start talking about the funeral. Should I pull Angeless aside?"

Zeke nodded. "I'd be the peacemaker, Genevieve, but I think you and Jordan know you're the only ones who can do it."

He walked away towards Jessica.

Jordan grabbed Jenny's arm before she could follow Zeke. "Don't say anything about anything else Jenny, okay?" He kissed her on the lips. "I love you."

Jenny felt something tug at her heart, but she put on a brave face. "Jordan..." she said.

"Jenny?"

"I hate Zinnias."

Jordan laughed. "I know you do."

"I didn't, though, until this very moment."

"Oh, Jenny..."

Jenny kissed him, her eyes a little wet around the edges. "I'll take care of you," she said, and in a swift motion she went to Sabine and picked her up.
Zeke walked over to Jessica and put his arm around her, pulling her into a tired, but loving embrace. She saw the worry in his eyes and held him to her, comforting him. She understood his worry, as well as anybody.

"Playing peacemaker, again?" she asked him. He smiled and kissed her forehead.

"Don't I always?"

"This is true. But you have to stop being the peacekeeper sometime, don't you?"

"I wish it were that easy. I don't even know why people come to me for anything. I don't anything about nothing."

"That's not true, my Izzy. You are the one person I come to for everything, because our love gives us the answers."

"God, I hate and love that nickname so much."

"What?" she laughed.

"I love it because I love you, and you're the only person I let call me that. I hate because I never really liked it."

Jessica laughed and gave Zeke a big kiss. But worry and fatigue quickly overcame them both, and they fell asleep on the couch, holding each other.
THURSAY: Jun 22nd

It had been a long couple of days and these probably weren't the last of them. As usual Jessica woke up before everyone else, except sometime during the night Jo and Angeless had left.

'Oh' Jessica thought, 'Maybe they'll be back for breakfast.'

Now that Jessica looked around she could see that Andrea was missing too.

'I wonder where she's gotten to?' Jessica thought. ' She's not one to just get up and leave without teling someone.

Carefully Jessica got up and started to look for Andrea. When she got upstairs, Jessica heard a faint sobbing noise coming from one of the bedrooms.

Jessica opened the door to see a hysterical Andrea huddled in the corner.

"Andrea..." Jessica called softly. "Andrea, what's the matter?"
'Andrea, Andrea, Andrea.' Why couldn't people leave her alone? Didn't they understand she just wanted to be by herself. It was Jess, she had come looking for her. 'Andrea...'

That was it, she couldn't take it anymore.

"MY NAME'S NOT ANDREA!!! STOP CALLING ME THAT! THAT'S NOT MY NAME! THAT'S NOT WHO I AM!!"

Jessica was trying to stat calm, " Andrea, sweetie, you're not making any sense, what are you talking about?"

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" She was screaming and sobbing at the same time. She couldn't handle this all, she had to do something.

***********

Jordan and Zeke woke at almost the exact same time.

"Did you hear something?" Jordan asked.

Zeke replied "I don't know, but whatever it was, it came from upstairs."

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Kaio sat behind the sofa, legs pulled up to his chest with his eyes closed. He had hoped his father wouldn't notice him but he had miss placed that faint hope and his father... He needed to think and clear his head... At least he knew that this place was the safest his house was. Tucked between the sofa and the radiator and curled into himself. Nothing could touch him here. Not that he reckoned his dad had stuck around.

"You think you can just come in here any time you like and take what you want?!" He dad was bellowing... shouting straight into his face. Screaming as if walking into his own home was a crime.

Blood trickled from a gash across his eye and he knew he wouldn't be returning to see his friends any time soon. He couldn't breathe properly, his ribs were battered, he suspected at least one was broken. He wasn't even sure when he had ended up on the floor. It was all a blur.

A blur as he opened the door and made his way to the stairs and was spun round by his other to see fear filled eyes begging him to leave. A blur as he saw his father's mouth move, shoving his mother aside and pinning him to the wall... A blur that focused in on a few words, strands of carpet and the chipped paint on the ceiling.

As long as his father was entertained his mother was alright.

The snake of black lether that crisscrossed his skin.

All he wanted in the world was for his friends... He needed them too much to get them involved. Blood was in his throat and he wasnt sure where he was anymore. He felt cold and not quite there any more. The warmth from the radiator wasn't really reaching him... He felt the raw numbing sensation across his body that blockedout the pain and tried to find his mobile in his pocket. If he could call someone... They wouldn't miss him if he... He couldn't see the buttons properly... hmmmmmmmm
Angeless hadn't been back inside his house since the incident with his mother. He just sat on the porch like he used to do when he had less cares in the world. He ended up climbing into his room via his window so he didn't have to go through the front door. Laying on his bed he stared at the ceiling. hearing his clock flick over he glanced at it.

"1am...Great I've been laying here for hours and I can't even sleep. Fuck it I'm going for a walk "he sighed getting up and climbing out of his window again.

As he walked around he eventualy ended up at the tree house. He went up and crashed out on the sofa. Half smiling at the hasel the had gone though to get it up into the treehouse. The older photo's of them all. One from a few years ago with slightly shorter hair tied back in a bandana. He was sitting crosslegged next to Jordan with a big smile and doing the peace sign.

"God I used to be such a hippie... "he smiled as he looked at the pictures.

One of him asleep on Jenny's sofa with Sabine asleep on his chest and Jenny curled up near him.. The way he was being used as a pillow by Jenny and sabine. They looked like a family all of them in the pictures looked like they were a family.

"Guess they really are my only family...all my friends. Guess I should tell them I give a shit more often "smiled Angeless as his eyes grew heavy.
Zeke and Jordan raced up the stairs and into the bedroom to find Andrea backed against a wall crying and ranting uncontrollably. Jessica was trying to console her but it seemed like her efforts were a little bit lost.

“What’s wrong?” Zeke wanted to know as he made his way into the room. Jordan kind of hung back, his head throbbing a little, maybe from all the commotion.

“I… I’m not who you think I am! I’m…” Andrea started, but she was sobbing so hard the others could barely make out her words.

“Hey… hey…” Zeke was trying to help, “We’re here, it’s all right. We’re here.” He kept saying.

“I… I can’t take this right now… I have to go…” Jordan said from the door frame as he slid away from the scene.

“Jordan!” Jessica called after him but, he wasn’t turning around. His head hurt too much for clear thoughts. Only… there was this one thought… one that kept coming to the surface no matter what he did to try and make it go away.

At the bottom of the stairs he was met by Jenny.

“Jordan?” She asked, “What’s wrong?” He seemed to be a little out of it.

“I… I don’t know…” he said, “I need to go somewhere.” He rubbed his head as looked for his shoes and pulled them on.

“Jordan.” Jenny said more assertive, “Hey. Calm down.” He stopped fidgeting around and stood before her looking her in the eyes. He took a deep breath.

“Do you trust me?” He asked her. She put her hand on his forehead.

“You have a fever.” She said. He shook his head and took her hand off his head and held onto it.

“Come with me.” He said, “We won’t be gone long.”

“Jordan…” She sighed, “I can’t leave Sabine.”

“She’s still sleeping,” He reasoned, it was early yet, “Jess can take care of her if she wakes up. Or… or we can take her back home to be with your mom.” Jenny thought about the options. She glanced back at Sabine and then up the stairs towards the room.

“One second.” She said. She jogged up the stairs and into the room and a few seconds later came back down to join Jordy by the door. “Okay. Let’s go.” She said. He nodded and they left.

Maybe it was wrong to leave their friends like that, especially in a time like this. But… it was almost too much for Jordan and maybe for Jenny as well. Half of them were already MIA or at least just as lost. The way he saw it, it didn’t matter one bit if he stayed or left.

“Are you okay?” Jenny asked him as they made their way towards his truck. He stopped on the lawn and just stood there.

“I don’t know…” he said, letting his voice fall.

“Maybe I should drive…” Jenny offered, putting a soft hand on his shoulder, “You can tell me where we’re going.” He just nodded and handed her the keys.

They drove off and Jordan gave Jenny directions as if leading her on a goose chase until finally they pulled into the rocky drive of the cemetery just out of town.

“Why, Jordan?” Jenny asked him with sad eyes as she turned off the truck. But instead of answering right away he just turned, met her gaze, and gave a soft smile.

“You still trust me?” He asked. She nodded, looking on the verge of tears. “It’s okay.” He said. They got out of the truck and the two walked out towards the grave markers. As they walked, Jordan grabbed Jenny’s hand and interlocked his fingers with hers; leading her to the spot he knew he wanted to go.

It was a nice place for a cemetery, medium sized the way that those things go, and on a nice green hill. There were no houses or buildings or any sign that people had ever been here before—nature in its simplest form. Trees dotted the hillside and a gentle breeze blew through the whole place. It was one of those days where, in the morning, you can tell the rest of the day will be nearly unbearable with heat, and yet somehow the morning is pleasant. Cool enough to trick your mind into forgetting it’s summer and yet warm enough to warn you of what’s ahead while still being comforting.

They walked through the grass until all of a sudden Jordan stopped, right where he meant to. There in front of them was a simple marker:
Allison Pryce
Beloved wife and mother.
If only there was time enough…


“It was her favorite saying.” Jordan said calmly, “If only there was time enough for this or for that then… well… she always knew how to fill in the blanks just right.”

“Do you remember her?” Jenny asked. Jordan let go of her hand and sat down in the grass in front of the marker with Jenny standing a little behind him.

“Barely.” He said. After a long pause he continued, “He did love her.” He said, “My dad, I mean. He wasn’t just some guy that got my mom pregnant, I shouldn’t have said that before… he really loved her. That’s why it killed him so much when she got sick and he couldn’t do anything about it. That’s why after she died he…” He stopped, not really finishing the thought because they both knew the end of that sentence, “I guess I just can’t remember much about him except for that. Except for the bad things that he did and then he was just gone. Me and him never got a real chance, you know? I don’t even think I got a real chance with my mom either… It’s like my life has been one big experiment. Take away my mom, then my dad… see what happens.”

Jenny came and sat down next to him, he took her hand again. He just needed to be reassured that she was still there, and that he wasn’t alone.

“I’m here.” She said in a low voice, as if reading his thoughts.

“I just want a chance at something.” He said softly. “Just to know I’m living and breathing for something… anything…”

“You are,” she said, “You are, Jordan.”

“It’s all so fleeting you know…” He continued as if he didn’t even hear her. “One second you’re here and the next…” He paused, “When you’re young, you always dream of what you’ll do when you get older. You think of all the opportunities you’ll have and all the things you want to do or see.... Only to grow up to the fact that you may never get to see or do any of those things you thought.”

“We’re young Jordy…” Jenny cut in, “there’s plenty of time for us.”

“That’s what I mean.” He said, “We are young. But that doesn’t mean that tomorrow it won’t all be over…” he paused, “I used to think I would go to college, that it was just one of those things you do in life… now I don’t even know if I’ll make it through this summer…”

“Is it bad?” She asked.

“I don’t know…” he said.

“Jordan… I need to know…” But he didn’t answer, “I meant it.” She said after a minute of silence, “I will take care of you.” She whispered, leaning into his body. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around her. “You can tell me…” she said, “I won’t leave you…”

“I lied about something else.” He said, she was quiet, just waiting for him to go on, “I said I had that surgery when I was younger for… scar tissue?” He asked himself, wondering if that was the lie he had told her.

“Yeah…” she said quietly, as if answering his doubts.

“Yeah…” he repeated, “I lied. It wasn’t scar tissue…” he paused, “It was a tumor. Like brain cancer or whatever.” He said. “I didn’t tell you before because… I didn’t want to scare you… make it seem like, like it could come back and… well… and this.”

“Jordan…” she sighed.

“I know…” he said as he hugged her tighter, “Bad timing huh?” He asked as his lame attempt at a joke failed. “We can’t mention it to the others okay? At least not now…”

“Does this mean…” but she couldn’t finish the question forming in her mind.

“…Maybe.” He said, “I don’t know for sure yet but…” He sighed, trying to hold back tears.

“I’ll still love you Jordan.” Jenny said through tears of her own, “I won’t leave you.” She repeated. He held her safely in his arms, wishing for the moment to never pass.

In all reality, he was scared. Scared that he could lose hold of something he needed so much. Scared that another carefree day could be years away. Scared that his whole life was beginning to fall apart… Most of all he was scared of doing the same thing his mother had done to his father so many years ago—given him a love so deep nothing could compare, only to get sick and replace it with that hopeless feeling of grief and loss… Jordan didn’t want that for Jenny, all he wanted was to protect her for as long as he could. And in that moment, he almost felt guilty for putting her here, for adding another worry to her list of worries. But while he knew she didn’t need all his troubles to become her own, at the same time he realized exactly how much he needed her and how much he loved her.
Jenny sat there with Jordan, letting the feeling of his shirt come through to her fingertips, his hair sweeping by her lips. Tears dripped from her eyes, down his cheeks and neck, she wiped them away with a laugh.

"I've gotten you all soggy," she said, sniffing. She looked into his eyes. "Jordan," she said. "I need you to promise me a couple of things."

Jordan kissed her. "Anything." Jenny noticed his eyes had changed, but she didn't say anything.

"First of all," she said, wiping a stray tear away from her. "I've had a lot happen to me, Jordan, but I am not an emotional or weak person. What I mean is, you have to always be honest with me. I can take anything you throw at me, I'll always be here for you. I'm strong...I'm....,"

"Jenny," Jordan said. He smiled.

"Yeah," Genevieve said, laughing. "I'm Jenny."

"I won't keep anything from you Jenny, I promise," Jordan said. taking her hand. "And I already know the second thing you're going to make me promise."

Jordan stood up and brushed grass and dirt off his pants. He took Jenny's hand and lifted her up into a hug. "I'll never give up," he said. "As long as you're with me."

"I'll always be with you," Jenny said, and they walked back to the truck, Jordan saying good-bye to his mother on the way.
Zeke was confused. What was Andrea ranting about. Everyone was back, even though some of them had left to go home, or wherever. He didn't understand what she was talking about. What did she mean when she said she wasn't Andrea?

Then he thought of something else. Sabine was alone downstairs. He quickly told Jessica where he was going so she wouldn't get worried. She said she'd stay with Andrea.

Zeke rushed downstairs to where they had left Sabine sleeping. Luckily, she was still asleep, tossing a bit. He bent down and stroked her hair. It was hard to believe that this was Jenny's daughter and not her sister.

Something tipped over in the kitchen. It made a small 'clank.' Zeke stood straight up, on full alert. He mad ehis way slowly to the kitchen, careful not to be heard.

When he arrived in the kitchen, he saw Kai standing with a knife in his hand. He raised it to stab himself.

"Now he can't hurt me anymore," he said. Zeke's eyes grew very large. He rushed into the kitchen and knocked Kai out, the only way he knew to stop him.
While Jessica was trying to comfort Andrea, she heard a long band from downstairs. Thinking it might be Sabine, she started towars the steps.

"Stay here, I'll be right back" Jessica said to Andrea before she left the room.

Rushing down the stairs she saw that Sabine was sleeping on the couch. Obviously, whatever had fallen hadn't disturbed her. Making her way to the kitchen Jessica stood, mouth agape at the sight before her.

There was Zeke holding a knife, with Kaio on the floor, next to a small pool of blood. She tried to scream but no sound came out, tears started to flow as she ran for the front door.

"Wait!" Zeke shouted, "It's not what it looks like!"

But Jessica didn't care, she was already halfway down the block. She started to make her way to the only other place she knew she'd be safe, the treehouse.

She got there, and sobbing as she climbed up the ladder, didn't realize that there was someone sleeping on the couch. Well whoever was sleeping had woken up and as now saying,

"What the hell happened to you?"

It was Angeless, and all Jessica could do was sob. Her head was throbbing so hard. 'How could Zeke do something like this?' 'What had happened to make him do such a thing?'

"Jess, what's wrong, what happened?" Angeless was trying to get an answer out of her.

She finally managed to choke out "Zeke- knife...Kaio-... dead."

Angeless didn't get a chance to respond before Jessica broke once more into hysterics.
Andrea was getting more and more afriad by the minute. She didn't know why she had this nervous breakdown. What hurt the most though was that her friends didn't understand.

'Well I guess they wouldn't' she thought, 'if I don't tell them.'

Andrea knew "Nicole" would have to come up eventually, but latley, there hasn't been a time that seemed quite right.

****

Andrea had heard the bang from downstairs, but she didn't want to go and see what it was. She couldn't handle anymore at the moment.

'Maybe if I close my eyes...' she thought, 'this would all go away, and it be just a dream'

But sadly as Andrea sat there, her head resting against the wall, she knew that this was no dream, it was reality, hard, cruel reality.
Angeless half sprinted at Zeke and slammed him into the floor.

"WHY...WHY DID You do it "shouted Angeless with his wrist dug into Zeke's neck.

"He's...not...dead "gasped Zeke.

He heard Kai moaning slightly from behind him and he slowly got up and released Zeke.

"...What the hell is happening to us? "asked Angeless sitting with his back up against the cuboard under the sink.

Zeke sat up slowly.

"Guess We really need to talk more about this "answered Zeke.

"I just can't face loosing anybody else I care about "sighed Angeless staring into the lounge and at Sabine still alseep.

Angeless laughed quietly before he spoke again.

"Guess those moves you showed me do work....sorry about the neck "smirked Angeless helping Zeke up.

"Why is Jess on the floor? "asked Zeke?

"Whoops...my bad "answered Angeless.

In his haste to get to Zeke he must have knocked her over.

"Its okay...misunderstanding Kai is alive "he cut himself off before he went anyfuther.

"I'm going to beat that boy senseless "she hissed as Angeless grabbed her around the waist.

"If anybody here needs beating its me...So take it out on me you hear me "he said sternly.

Jess slapped him hard across the face and then thumped into his chest as hard as she could.

"Its okay...Let go of it "spoke Angeless as he held her in one of the first real hugs he'd given any of his friends in a long time with tears of his own flowing down his cheeks.

There was a pause before he noticed what song was on the radio. 'I hate everything about you by three days Grace'. He couldn't help but smile quietly even through his own tears.

"I should've been around more for you guys...if you ever get in trouble you best call me...no matter what "whispered Angeless into her ear.
Jordan and Jenny rode along in his truck, headed back towards town, Jenny was driving. She had her hand on his leg in the passenger seat as a simple gesture to remind him that she was still with him in this. They rode along in silence, Jordan’s hand resting on top of Jenny’s, his attention out the window at the passing surroundings.

She wanted to say something to him. She’d look over at him every now and then with all the intention of speaking but she couldn’t think of the right thing to say. He wanted to say something too. Like maybe tell her how sorry he was he dragged her into this or maybe how scared he was or how bad he felt about everything.

He couldn’t even begin to imagine how he would tell the rest of his friends if ever it had to come to that. It was bad enough that Angeless’ mom had just died from something that could possibly take away Jordan as well. He shook the thought out of his head, he hated thinking that way. He figured it was better to think of it more like some sort of game or competition. And if this was a game, he was sure planning on winning.

They pulled up in front of Zeke’s house and Jenny turned off the engine, pulled out the keys and handed them to Jordan. But instead of turning to get out of the car, she took his hands in hers and turned to look at him, he returned her gaze.

“Are you okay?” She asked him.

“I’m fine, Jenny.” He answered.

“You don’t look fine…” She said with a concerned look on her face. He just looked back at her with heavy eyes and a sad smile. His hair was pressed a little to his forehead like he had been sweating or like he had gotten out of the shower and his hair was still drying.

“Try not to worry so much.” He tried to ease whatever fears she was feeling.

Jenny raised her hand up to put it on his forehead and was surprised to find that when her hand touched his skin it was burning hot.

“Jordan, I really think you have a fever, pretty high too…” She said with that worried tone coming back to her voice.

“You told me to be honest with you right?” He asked and waited for an answer. Jenny just nodded. “Really… A fever is the least of my worries.” He took her hand and put it to a spot on the back of his head, near where his scar was. “You can’t feel it,” He started, “But it’s there, deep inside somewhere, on a part of my brain that controls a lot of the things I do without thinking about. Like… regulating my body temperature… or breathing, or keeping my eyes in focus, or keeping my heart beating, and a lot of other things.” He paused, “I can deal with the fever.” He said.

“How long?” she asked, “How long have you known for sure?”

“A few days…” he said, “I got the call a few nights ago but… I guess I’ve really known for a few weeks. That day at the hospital when I ran into you, I wasn’t there for Angeless, I had to have a scan of my head and…”

“Jordan…” she started, but he knew there were no real words that could take away what was happening or what he felt inside.

“Sometimes I go to sleep at night and wonder if my lungs will remember to breathe when I’m dreaming or if my heart will still beat when I’m too far away to know I’m dying…”

“Stop.” She said, “Right now Jordan. You’re not dying, and you’re not going to.” He saw some of the old Jenny fierceness coming back. She pulled his head closer to hers and gave him a soft kiss on the lips and then they froze, inches apart, Jenny’s hand still on the back of his head. “If we’re going to do this,” She said, “we’re not going to have any negative thoughts like that. We have to believe that we’ll get through this, okay?” He looked directly into Jenny’s eyes and could see his reflection staring back at him. He nodded.

“Just keep telling me that,” he said, “If I hear it enough, it’ll be true.”

She ran her hand through his hair once and then pulled away a little bit.

“Get what you can now.” He said with a small smile, “My hair I mean… it’s going to be gone soon, I think I’ll cut it in a few days and then it’s back to hats for me.”

“What did I just say?” She asked. He looked at her with a softer light in his eyes.

“I know Jenny, and I won’t forget,” he said, “but that wasn’t a negative thought… it was a joke.”
Zeke picked himself off of the floor. Wow,he thought, we are really beating each other up, aren't we. In his attempt to stop Kai from stabbing himself, Zeke had knocked him over and made him cut his arm a little. Nothing fatal, but still preety messy.

Kai sat up on the floor and looked at Angeless and Jessica.

"Sorry to scare you all like that," he said. Then he looked at Zeke. "Thanks for stopping me. I was about to do something really stupid."

"Don't worry about it, man," Zeke said," we've all been stupid lately." Zeke helped Kai off the floor and got some peroxide and wet cloth to help stop the bleeding. He then went over to Jessica to apologise for scaring her.
*Sorry it's been so long, I've been really busy*

'Things have changed, haven't they?' Jessica thought to herself. 'Not even a week out of school, and already things are crazy. If we don't come up with something soon... who know's what will happen to us.' As Jessica's mind began to wander Zeke cam over to her.

"I'm soo sorry," he said. " I didn't mean to scare you.

Jessica smiled.

"It's okay, it's my fault, I completley over reacted."

Zeke just smiled and the both of them hugged, happy to be forgiven.

It was then that Jessica realized that they had left Andrera alone upstairs.

"Oh my gosh!" Jessica said.

"What is it?" Zeke asked

"Andrea"


Kaio didn't know what had come over him and he was shivering violently within his clothes, desperately trying to sink into the walls so no one could see him. His face was probably fine... His dad never hit him where it could be seen but everywhere else... He couldn't bare the fact that he had tried to kill himself just because of one episode. It wasn't even the worst. It could be so much worse... He could feel the cold in his body digging into his sides. What were they saying about Andrea?

What was wrong with them?

It was true what they said, he supposed... The fucked up tended to group together subconciously. Take any pair of them. There was a story. There was a problem. A secret that unconciously they all knew was there.

He followed them to the stairs, saw Zeke dash up them and Jess following suit. He looked at the stairs and felt queasy. He wouldn't make it up those... Not at any normal rate. His ribs were screaming out as they scraped across his insides. He could feel something sharp in his chest but he wanted to help them. He wanted to help incase he couldn't later.

"Kai?" Jo was looking down at him from a few steps above, "You look..."

Terrible

"Really ill. Are you ok?"

He didn't say anything, just sucked in his breath and stepped up the first stair, hissing as another stab of pain twirled through his body.

A cry came from further up.

What was going on?

He tried to move up the next few stairs. Each time the pain worsening.

"Can I help?" Jo was still there, her face torn between where she was needed. He shook his head, no. He didn't want her to feel the damp blood that was sticking to his back.

To think that they thought Zeke would do that...

"Kai! Jo! Come quickly!" There was a shout from up the stairs and suddenly Kai felt arms around his shoulders and Jo had ducked under him to aid him forwards.

"Don't..." He said softly as she helped him up. But she didn't let go until they were on the landing. She looked at her arm, smudged red was on her arm. She looked at him. Horrified.

"Kaio! Jo!"

What was wrong with them?

They had too many problems together to share.
Angeless had disapeared out into the garden again just after the commotion and was over. He had already borrowed Kai's guitar and was sat on the bench in the garden.

"such a lonely day and its mine
the most loneliest day of my life
such a lonely day should be banned
its a day that i cant stand "he was singing in his old style the more depressing method.

It was a song that had been on the radio a few times that day yet another reminder of the people he'd lost.

"and if u go i wanna go with you
and if you die i wanna die with you
take your hand and walk awa... "he was cut off after hearing somebody shout his name.

"ANGELESS!! "

he slammed through the door to see them carrying Kai down the stairs bleeding.

"KAI! He grabbed his keys to his car and half kicked open the front door.

"What! where are you going we have to wait for the ambulance! "shouted Jessica.

"You know I can get him there....Now GET IN THE GOD DAMM CAR! "He shouted almost snapping his key off in the ignition.

The car didn't start and he thumped the dashboard.

"START DAMM IT! "he shouted as the got kai into the car and got in with him.

The car started and he barely waited for them to say they were strapped in before he wheel spun the car around and headed for the hospital.

"I'm not loosing anybody else....not today "he thaught to himself as he ignored half the traffic lights.

To give himself credit he drove better when He was in a mood like this. Almost like he was possessed. Single minded in his course. Glancing into the rear view mirror he saw how pale Kai was. He could see Andrea just out of the corner of his eye looking almost angry to be in the car.

"Kai...don't you even think about dying in this car. Swear to god...I'll kill you myself if you do. Come on talk to me. Make a list...How many people have I punched since I've known you? I'll start it off. Johnah price in art becuase He was picking on you "spoke Angeless trying to think of things to keep Kai talking.
Jordan just sat there grinning a little at Jenny’s loss of words.

“Lighten up.” He suggested, trying to shake his depressed mood and change Jenny’s as well. She returned his smile, and kissed him on the cheek.

“Very funny.” She said, but he could tell her mood was reversing a little too. They were about to get out of the car and make their way into the house when all of a sudden they saw everyone run out in some state of panic. Zeke was practically carrying Kai out the front door and Angeless ran ahead and jumped into his car. Jessica, Jo, and Andrea all followed. Jessica was yelling something but Jordan didn’t hear it. They all got in the car and sped off. It happened so fast, Jordan couldn't even make sense of what just happened.

“What the hell?” He asked out loud somewhat dazed. Then, turning to Jenny, he added, “Jenny. We have to follow them. Let me drive.”

“Jordan, you’re in no shape right now.” She said, trying to be reasonable.

“Maybe,” He said, talking fast, “But I’m feeling fine and we all know I am a way more reckless driver anyways, and if we have any chance of following Angeless in that panic, it had better be me behind the wheel.” She looked at him, “Please Jenny, I promise we’ll be safe.” For a second she was actually considering giving him the keys.

“Oh my god!” She said, “Jordan, they left Sabine in there!” She jumped out of the car. For a moment he sat in the passenger seat, torn between Angeless’ car and Jenny and her daughter. But it wasn’t a hard decision to make. He was worried about Kai, whatever was wrong didn’t look good, especially by the way everyone was acting, but Angeless’ car was long out of view and Jenny needed him more. Kai had five other people, if he left, Jenny would have none.

He jumped out of the car and ran into the house right behind Jenny.

“Sabine!” She called, “Sabine!” Jordan could tell she was getting worried.

“Hey,” Jordan said, “Calm down, she’s in here. They haven’t been gone that long.”

“Who knows what happened in here Jordan,” She said, sounding panicked, “Or how long it’s been since the last time someone checked on her… or-”

“Jenny.” Jordan said firmly as he softly grabbed her wrist and turned her around to face him. “Just breathe.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in and out. “Open your eyes.” He said, and she did. “You good?” He asked her.

“Not until we find her.” She said, but he could tell she was calmer now. Still worried—but calmer.

He let go of her hand and turned to go up the stairs. “Sabine!” He called. And Jenny continued looking downstairs. “Sabine!” He called again as he made his way down the hallway. He poked his head into a few of the rooms. As he poked his head into the last room on the edge of the stairs, his eye stopped on the closet door just before he ducked out again. “Sabine?” He asked, quieter.

He made his way into the room and flicked on a light. As he got to the closet, he crouched down a little bit and slowly slid open the door. As he was met with the face of a young girl, he smiled.

“There you are.” He said kindly. “It’s okay, all the scary noises are gone.” He said, grasping at something to say that would make it seem like whatever had just happened was over. He reached out his hand to her. “Remember me? Jordan?” He asked. “Your mommy’s real worried about you.” She put her small hand in his and he led her out of her hiding place. He picked her up and could see she had been crying. “It’s okay.” He soothed again, “You’re safe now. Come on, we’ll go find your mom.”

As they came down the stairs they met Jenny at the bottom and the little girl’s face lit up.

“Sabine!” She said, happy that they found her. Jordan handed over the girl and Jenny hugged her. ‘Thank you.’ She mouthed the words, feeling relieved. Jordan just smiled.

His phone buzzed in his pocket, telling him he had a text message. It was from Zeke. Kiao. Hospital. Don’t panic just get here.

“Oh God…” Jordan said.

“What is it?” Jenny asked, as they made their way to the living room.

“They took Kai to the hospital. Jenny… we should get over there.”

“What happened?” She asked, getting worried again.

“It’s okay. Don’t panic. Zeke’s words.” He said, he showed her the message. “Do you think your mom can watch her?” He asked, motioning towards Sabine. “We can drop her off there and then head over to the hospital.”

“Probably, yeah.” Jenny said.

“Unless we want to take her with us…”

“No, your idea is probably better. I don’t know what she would do in a hospital.”

They made their way out to Jordan’s truck and buckled Sabine into the car-seat they had bought the day before.

“Since we’re in no hurry, I think I’ll drive.” Jenny smiled.

“Okay.” Jordan said as he gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “Let’s go.”




Jenny was worried about Kai, just as much as the rest of them were, but she was also exhausted. She had been worrying all day: about Jordan, about Sabine, about what would happen to them all when (and if) the chaos ever stopped. As she drove in the car, Jenny saw Jordan slip against the passenger window. His breathing was regular, so she let him sleep. Sabine, too, was sleeping in the back.

"Sabine, what to do with you when you realize the world's gone crazy?" Jenny wondered to herself. When she reached her house, she quietly opened the door, picked up Sabine, who whimpered once and then fell sound asleep again on her shoulder. She put Sabine in her normal crib, warned her mother that the child was there, and went back to the car. Jordan was still sleeping.

Jenny drove to the hospital in silence with the window down, letting the sound of the wind calm her. She knew that what they met at the hospital wouldn't be good, but she also knew that this group was experienced at handling crisis.

When she arrived at the hospital, she gently put her hand on Jordan's shoulder. "Jordan?" she whispered. "Are you okay? Wake up, baby."

For a brief, horrifying second Genevieve thought he wouldn't wake up. (Wasn't that logical when everything had been seeming to go wrong lately?). But slowly, he came awake.

"We're there," she said, and brushed his hair away from his face. "We're there, and we owe it to the others to get away from our own selves, and pay attention to them."

Jordan smiled and laughed gruffly. "I'm just so tired," he said. "What do you think happened to Kai?" He opened his door and tenderly stepped out of the truck.

"I think it's not going to be pretty..." Jenny said. "But, hey, at least I can finally yell at someone. I've been trying to find someone to take all my anger out on for these past couple of days, and whoever hurt Kai will be perfect."

Jordan laughed as Jenny took his hand and they walked inside the building. The ER room was filled with their friends: sitting in chairs, talking to nurses, two of them covered in blood. Jenny saw Angeless first, and let go of Jordan's hand to talk to him.

"What happened, Angeless? Who hurt Kai, is he going to be okay? Are you all right? What can I do for you?"

Angeless's blank stare shifted when he heard Genevieve. "Jenny," he croaked. Jenny noticed his mouth and lips were dry. She took Angeless's arm and sat him in a chair.

"What's the matter Angeless? Don't you remember me?" She tried to feebly laugh.

Angeless was silent and looked from her face to the ground. "Kai tried to kill himself," he said in a raspy, deep voice. "And no, I don't remember you..."

Jenny let go of his arm and stared straight into his face. "I wasn't different until just now," she said. "And if I thought explaining would help, I'd try to do it." Her eyes welled up with tears. "But if one of our friends can't love themselves or us enough to live, then why does it matter if you recognize me or not."

Angeless's cracked lips formed into a small smile. "Wait," he said. "There was anger and passion there." He looked around the waiting room in mock surprise. When his gaze fell back on Jenny's he said, "Oh! Genevieve, there you are!"

Jenny wiped a few loose tears from her eyes and went to a nurse to ask about Kai.

Zeke stood just outside the door of Kai's room. He watched as people, nurses and orderlies and such, came and went in and out of the room. He just stood there, a solid expression of surrender on his face. What was he gonna do?

He turned around when he heard the voices of Jenny and Jordan coming down the hallway. They saw his scruffy appearance and went over to him. He simply smiled and pointed to where Kai was sleeping fitfully.

Jo had never left his side since she arrived. Zeke could tell she cared deeply for him. There was now no questioning the connection Kai and Jo had. Almost like the connection that Zeke shared with Jessica.

As if on cue of his thoughts, Jessica stepped up beside Zeke and put her arm through his and around his waist. He drew her closer and together they stood and watched Kai, waiting for him to awaken.
Friday: June 23 (ish)

Everyone had been ushered out of Kaio's room, and they were now all waiting outside. It was probably close to 12:00pm, or 1:00am in the morning, and there was still no sign of Kaio's condition. As far as they knew, he was stable, but not quite fully concious yet. The doctors did tell them that he probably went into shock from blood loss, but that's pretty much all they knew.

As Jessica looked around the room, she could she that everyone was on the verge of falling asleep, and she could even feel her own eyelids starting to droop. As she sat there, her head resting on Zeke's shoulder, she began to think of how crazy her life had been these past couple weeks. She'd been to the hospital at least twice in the two weeks, for her friends, there had been two of them missing, one of those two ran away... I guess summer's just not my season, she thought to herself. Well, whatever was going to happen to all of them, they'd always be there for each other.

"Take me in, into your darkest hour, and I'll never desert you... " The words from one of Jessica's favorite songs, "I'll stand by you" lingered on her mind as she drifted off to sleep.
Andrea was sitting in the waiting room,curled up in one of the chairs. She desperatley didn't want to be here. She wanted to go, go somewhere, anywhere away from here.

It was now around 1:30-2:00 in the morning, and everyone else was asleep. Andrea, didn't really feel like sleeping, and no one was around, so she decided to go in and see Kaio. When everyone else had initially gone into see him, Andrea had hung back and kind of shyed away. Now she wanted to talk to him, besides if she was going to tell her secret to anyone, why not tell it to someone who's half unconcious.

Andrea got up from her chair and quietly walked into Kaio's room. She closed the door and went and sat down in the chair next to his bed.

"Hey," Andrea said softly. "Listen, I know I haven't been the most sane one of us latley, but there is a reason..."

"There's a reason for everything isn't there?' Andrea chuckled silently to herself.

"You see, when I was upstairs before and flipping out, I guess it was just because I couldn't handle it anymore... What I was saying is true, my name isn't Andrea, it's Nicole. I know big shocker right?"

The whole time she was talking to the unconcious Kaio, her voice remained calm and steady, as if he could really hear her.

"Another thing, I'm not really as shy as I seem to be, in fact I used to be know as the obnoxious one. I must not be making much sense, you see, I'm in the Witness Protection Program. I was moved here and 'Andrea' was the name they gave me..."

Nicole could feel the hot tears starting to fall down her cheeks. "It's not fair... this whole time I've known all of you, I've basically been living this lie, a big fat lie."

Still crying, Nicole got up and went over and kissed Kaio's forehead, "Thanks for listening." she said as she turned and walked out of the room.

********************

Kaio lay dumbfounded in bed. Once he heard the door close, he opened his eyes and thought to himself, ' What's next, a super maniac whose trying to kill us all?'

Kaio liked the dark... He had woken from it reluctantly... He had woken even more reluctantly when he realised that it wasn't just a dream that he was listening to Andrea pour out her soul... To realise that she was really there... Really telling him that she wasn't who he, who they all, thought she was... He closed his eyes again, trying to find solace in that dark world he had been pulled out of only moments ago... Finding only the pressure of wires and monitors instead of peace.

"Kaio!" Jo's exclamation made him open his eyes again, "You're awake!" She must have seen the way he winced at the loudness of her voice because she lowered the tone instantly, "How are you feeling? Who did this?" She was leaning over him now, holding his hand.

He frowned, were the pain killer's really so strong that he'd lost feeling at all? He guessed so seeing as he genuinely couldn't feel the usual ache that lasted well into weeks...

"Kai?" She said again. And he smiled up at her to try and reassure her. Knowing it probably wouldn't work.

"I'm fine..." He began to say, but saw her sceptical eyes and added, "Or at least I will be. I don't hurt too bad."

"But who... what happened? You were fine then you came back and you were..." She looked at her sleeve which was partly stained with a dark mark that looked susiciously like blood. His blood? he couldn't remember clearly.

"Yeah, who did it?" Angeless had crept in, unnoticed.

Kai was torn once again... Between protecting his family and protecting himself. If he let his friends in, he knew they'd pity him... bu they'd let him hide safe and sound from his father.

"I'll get whoever it was back for you." Angeless' voice sounded ernest and he found his memories flitting back to when they were younger and he'd been given a black eye by one of their class mates... Angeless had made him tell him and then gone off to give the other boy matching panda eyes and a chipped tooth...

"You can't get him back..." Kai said quietly, his voice croaky and sore, he looked up into his friend's eyes and then glanced at Jo. Both were watching him. He supposed by now they probably had their suspicions.

"Who was it Kai?" Jo repeated again.

"My father." The words slipped ou bfore he even had time to check his tongue. If he hadn't had wires sticking into his arms with random fluid he would have had a hand to his mouth in horror at what he had done.

Angeless' eyes flashed, "Your dad did this!" He didn't sound incredulous. He didn't look like he pitied him. He was furious and his voice, dropped to a hiss, refected that.

Kaio nodded and turned his face away. Well it was out now. Jo or Angeless... They ould tell the others... They knew now... And he didn't know what to do.
"...Kai...I love you like a brohter. I should have known....I could've done something about it "sighed Angeless.

"You couldnt've known...I waas good at hiding it "sighed Kai trying to keep angeless from doing something stupid.

Kai caught a glimps of Angeless's knuckles and saw that they were almost red raw. The Grazes looked fresh like they'd been done in the last few minutes. Angeless caught were his friends eyes had been looking and crossed his arms so his hands weren't visable.

"You want a cup of tea or something? I mean the vending machine is prity crappy but there are some goodies "asked Angeless looking at Kai?

"I'll go get some then. I need to stretch my legs "answered Jo.

Angeless caught her face for a moment and he almost wanted to make her stay. Before he could say anything she had closed the door behind her.

"Don't go after him "sighed Kai almost like he was reading Angeless's mind.

"But look at what he's done! What he's still doing to you! Don't you think somebody needs to do something! WE'RE Family! "sighed Angeless.

"I understand....but He'll pay someday...But I don't want you doing something that'll keep you from doing what you do best "sighed Kai as Angeless sat down in the chair next to his bed.

"I don't do anything best "sighed Angeless.

"You might not realise it but you fight to protect your family...Never stopping even when it means sacrificing your own happiness "sighed Kai patting Angeless's shoulder.

Angeless looked up and smiled briefly.

"That was deep...Are we having a moment? "asked Angeless?

"I think so? "smirked Kai.

"You think we need to have a hug or something like that? "chuckled Angeless.
Jordan sat staring at the wall with Jenny asleep on his shoulder. He had his arm around her and her head was resting on his chest. He couldn’t bring himself to fall asleep, even with how tired he was. He just sat there, resting his head on top of Jenny’s, taking in the smell of her hair and wondering for how many more days he would have her to hold. He worried a lot, even though he tried to tell himself that he wasn’t scared, there was always the threat that he could die looming in the back of his mind—literally, and figuratively.

He didn’t know what was going to happen. How this was all going to work. All he really wanted was to have a good summer, to have fun with his friends, but then the doctors told him his cancer was likely back and everything was screwy with their group. Jordan just felt bad for pulling Jenny into it all—into all his problems. And also for keeping it from everyone else. He wondered if she cared.

Everyone, with the exception of Jo, Angeless, and Andrea were asleep or napping. It was quiet in the waiting room. Jo came over to him.

“Kai’s awake,” She whispered, “If you wanted to see him.”

“I do.” Jordan said, “But, I’ll let him rest for now. I’m a little…” He tilted his head and hinted towards the sleeping Jenny. Jo just smiled, understanding. “Tell him we’re pulling for him.” She nodded and headed back into the room. He didn’t really know what he meant by that, and replaying the comment in his head, he realized that it sounded kind of corny. He could’ve asked how he was or what happened or who did it but instead… He was just too out of it and it was late, or early, depending on which way you counted from.

A few minutes later Angeless came out and took a seat next to Jordan.

“Jo said I should come out and check on you.” He said, “What’s up?”

Jordan chuckled a little, “I don’t know.” He said, “Maybe she just realized how out of it I am and didn’t know what to say herself.” He paused and when Angeless didn’t say anything, he looked over to him and asked, “Are you mad at me?”

“Why would I be?” He asked.

“Because of me and Jenny.” He answered.

“We’re okay.” Angeless said, “Me and you Jordan? We’re always going to be there for each other, I don’t see why we’d let a girl tear apart our friendship.”

“Good.” Jordan said, looking back to the wall, “I was just hoping we were okay you know… I mean I’ve never had much of a family and you’ve always kind of been like my older brother. Not to get all sentimental or anything.” He added.

“’Course kid.” Angeless said with a small smile. “But I mean it what I told you, if you hurt her, I’ll have to tear you apart.” Jordan laughed a little.

“Fair enough.” He said. Angeless got up, ruffled Jordan’s hair and went back into Kai’s room. He wondered if he could keep that condition. He might have hurt her already, just by telling her his secrets.

He went back to staring at the wall, losing all track of time it seemed. His eyes were getting heavy, so he closed them, letting them rest for just a second. Jenny stirred a little under his arm and brought her hand up to rest over his heart but he didn’t open them.

“Jordan?” She whispered.

“I’m here.” He whispered back, pulling his other arm around her to surround her in a hug.

“Oh God Jordan,” She said softly “don’t ever let go.” He wondered if she was really awake or if maybe she was more like in one of those states where you’re halfway between dreams and reality. “Don’t ever leave me.” She added. He kissed the top of her head as she snuggled into him, wrapping her arm around his middle.

“What are we going to do Jenny?” He asked her, “How are we supposed to make everything okay again?” But she didn’t answer. Maybe he was supposed to be the one with all the answers, but he felt like he had none. So he just held her close and somehow it felt like everything was right again, even within all the chaos, and even if it was only for the moment.
Zeke was happy to hear that Kai had woken up. He felt glad to see his friend conscious and smiling. Zeke walked into the room and stood beside the bed. Kai looked up at him and gave him an apologetic smile.

"Thanks man," is all he said. Zeke simply nodded his head and grasped Kai's hand. Their friendship, a friendship Zeke shared with Kai, Jordan, and Angeless. One not easily broken, but, as of late, was tested to its limits. Kai gave Zeke a firm squeeze, and Zeke left, feeling better.

Zeke watched as Jessica went into the room after him. She sat down in the chair and Zeke could see the happy tears start coming. He smiled. Maybe everything will be better.
Jessica had gone in and must have talked with Kaio for a while, because she handn't realized the time.

Glancing up at the clock on the wall she saw that it read 10:45am.

"Oh" Jessica exclaimed. "We have to get going!" She said as she said as she hastily started to gather her things.

"What's the rush?" Kaio asked.

"The funeral..." Jessica whispered.

Kaio mouthed a silent 'Oh' as she left the room.

Jessica went over to Zeke.

"The funeral," She said into his ear.

Getting the sense everyone else started to get the sense something was up.

"Time to go guys," Jessica said as she started leaving.

As if suddenly realizing what was going on everyone followed.

Jessica wasn't sure if not trying to make a big deal out of this was working, but for now if they could get past the next couple of days it would be a miracle.
Nicole wasn't too happy about going to the funeral. Besides not being able to cope with death well, she didn't like being around her friends with so much hanging over her. Not that it probably mattered, they all thought she was crazy anyway. Too much was happening for their own good, Kaio in the hospital, Angeless' mom, and everything else.

Nicole couldn't remember the last time they actually had a normal day. I guess that was the fun of the group, it was never dull.

So as Nicole sat there in the backseat of the car, her head resting against the window, she knew she couldn't keep her secret for much longer.

Soon Nicole and her thoughts were interuppted by the car stopping, and the sound of an engine being turned off. They had arrived at the funeral home and it was now around 11:00am. The funeral didn't officially start until 11:30am, so there was no one else there. No one made a move to get out of the car, they were all probably thinking the same thing, Angeless should have some time alone with his mom.

Kaio hated the fact that he couldn't be there. Over the years he had become quite fond of Angeless' mild-mannered mother, mainly because she always had a smile for him when he came to find his friend. The guilt he felt at missing her funeral... Even though he knew it couldn't be helped... Made him morose.

He watched the sky outsidethe window. Life was tragic. That tragedy made it beautiful. The impermance of the souls trapped into its embrace was what drove people to live and yet... Death was too hard to accept. He thought of Angeless, knowing that it was never the right time to lose a parent and sighed. His thoughts were with him even if he couldn't be there himself, being plugged into a monitor and a nutriant tube.

What else was there to consider? The whole group seemed to have happened upon a dimension that was warped beyond recognition. Everything was falling apart... Little by little and he wondered how on earth they still held it together. And ofcourse there was Andrea to consider. Or Nicole. Or whatever her name was. Could they cope with all this? Could they make it through the next few days? He knew deep down that it was possible. They just had to cling as they always did, to that dim hope of friendship.
Angeless stood alone in the funeral home for a while just him and the coffin. He hadn't hit him that she really wasn't coming back till a few short minutes before he went in. The coffin just forced his already overburden'd mind to accept it.

"This world will never be what I expected. Even if I say it'll be alright...I hear myself lie "sighed Angeless.

He heard the cars pulling up outside the funeral home and he sighed.

"Truth is...I'm tired mum. I've been fighting my whole life. I...I don't know why I'm here anymore. I tell myself I don't miss you "sighed Angeless thumping the wall.

Angeless sat down on the steps near the coffin and looked at his hand. He was looking at the ring he had pestered his mum to get him. A simple silver ring with a cross with wings spreading out. Taking it off he looked at it and let it drop from his hand. As it rolled along the floor he saw it stop just by the door before he looked away.

"I feel dead on the inside "he sighed as the door creaked open.

~~~~~~
During funeral
~~~~~~~~

Even surrounded by the people he still cared about he felt strangly distant. Almost like he was far away. He couldn't understand why he felt so angry. It was the only thing he could feel that allowed him to ignore the pain. He took the option of taking the back corner of the coffin as he knew it to be the heaviest end. He never even said a word not even as it began to rain.

He pushed the unbrellas away when they were offered and just let the rain hide the tears.

He was clenching his fists so hard than his nails were digging in hard enough to draw blood. Even as they lowered the coffin into the ground he didn't want to let himself feel anything but his own anger and the numb feeling he had in his legs. He felt somebody take his right hand and he didn't even look who it was. All he did was squeeze the hand gently.
Jordan stood watching as the casket was lowered into the ground. Jenny had gone over to take Angeless’ hand for a moment, but Jordan wasn’t jealous. He, himself wanted to do something but found the thought of consoling Angeless slightly awkward for some reason. He figured it was less awkward for a girl to show her feelings than for a guy like him in this situation.

People began to peel away from the scene. Jordan walked up behind Angeless and Jenny and put his hand on Angeless’ shoulder, the only little bit he could think to do to let his friend know he was sorry for the loss he was experiencing.

“Go on Jenny.” He whispered to her. She let go of Angeless’ hand and took the umbrella Jordan offered her then joined Jessica and Zeke as they made their way slowly across the lawn and back to the cars. Jordan hung back for a minute, standing next to Angeless in silence.

“What the hell is wrong with this world?” Angeless spoke first, but Jordan found he didn’t have the answer his friend was looking for.

“Just remember we’re with you in this.” He said instead. “We won’t leave you to fend for yourself out here.”

“How can we hurt so much that we don’t feel anything?” Angeless asked him, as if he didn’t hear the things Jordan was saying. Jordan had to think for a minute before he came up with his answer.

“Because the world’s unfair. And sometimes bad things happen to good people.” Jordan decided. He paused for minute and then took a step forward and tossed the flower he was holding into the ground, to land softly on top of the casket. He turned around and as he passed Angeless, he stopped next to him for a second, and they stood like that, facing opposite directions. Jordan closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he patted Angeless on the shoulder and continued on his way.

He caught up with Jenny and joined her under the umbrella. She had been walking with Jessica and Zeke but as Jordan came up, she slowed her pace a little.

"Are you okay?" She asked him. He grabbed her hand and took the umbrella from her, trying to give her a smile. And that was the only answer he could offer. Honestly, he didn't know anymore.
The thought of death made Jenny weary. It wasn't just that this woman she had known intimately was gone: a woman who had always been kind to her, had always had a nice conversation for her, was gone: it was that she might soon have to cope with the other deaths as well. The thought hadn't really struck home until she had lay flowers at Angeless' mom's grave.

She had taken Angeless' hand, knowing that the small gesture couldn't take away the floods of pain washing over him. She hadn't spoken: what could someone say when things were so bad? But, just like the old Jenny, she had refused to cry.

If there was ever a time to be strong, she thought, now is that time.

"Are you okay?" she asked Jordan as he came up beside her. He looked deep into her eyes, but there was no answer there.

Jenny took Jordan's hand as they walked back to the car. "There are times to be sad and confused and lonely," she said in a whisper so that Zeke and Jessica couldn't hear. "And there are other times when you are so beaten down, that all you can do is fight back. We've all been in hell these past couple of weeks: no one more so than you. And don't you think I understand that?" Jenny's breathing was becoming quicker, she was getting determined. "But I swear on all these people I love (she indicated her friends), that I will do everything I possibly can to keep them safe and happy and..and.." she faltered only for a second, "..and I will protect all of you to the best of my ability."

She let go of Jordan's hand. "Now, I know it's not easy," she said in regular tones. "But when we get that hospital, you're seeing a doctor: no buts or excuses. And no matter what we find out, no matter how bad it is--I swear, I won't give up on you. And if you don't live....I'll have to kill you...."

Lost in irony, Jordan half-smiled, but Genevieve wasn't paying attention. In long strides she had caught up with Angeless who was a litle ahead of them. Jordan, trying to listen, saw Jenny put a hand on Angeless's arm. When Angeless had turned around to face her Jordan heard these words.

"It's a cliche to say we'll get through this," Jenny said, now soaked with the rain, "But that is exactly what I plan to do."

Jordan detected a faint smile on Angeless's lips.

Zeke and Jessica walked slowly to the cars waiting on the road. Today, he hated his car. Being a sad and tragic day, Zeke felt anger towards the red car in the sea of black and white cars. But he knew he had only himself to blame. He had chosen the color. His consequence.

Jessica took Zeke's hand and squeezed it. Zeke gave her a sad smile. They got into his car and headed out, seeming as the others had chose to stay behind a while. That was actually good. He needed to talk to Kai alone. Well, almost alone. Jessica would be there.

As they arrived at the hospital, Zeke made his way to Kai's room. There was something he wasn't telling Zeke. When they reached his room, Kai looked at them weakly.

"I have to tell you about my dad. And about Andrea," he stated bluntly.
"What about Andrea?" Jessica asked, a hint of guilt in her voice.

"Well... Andrea sort of," Kaio started, "She isn't the person we all think she is..."

"Huh?" Zeke said, a confused expression on his face.

"While I was in here 'sleeping', Nicole came in here-"

"Wait, who's Nicole?" Zeke interupted.

"Let me fiish. When she came in, she spilled her heart out to me and told me her secret. I guess she really just wanted to tell someone. She told me that her name is Nicole, and that she's in the Witness Protection Program.

As Kaio continued on with his story, Jessica found her guilty concious weighing more and more heavily on her shoulders. Zeke just stood there, looking more and more bewildered.

Suddenly, as they stood there, they heard a noise coming from the doorway. The three of them looked over, and there stood Andrea. (or Nicole, or whatever her name is)
"It's okay, I probably know what you guys are thinking..." Nicole started as she started towards them. "How could she do this, she lied to us for all these years..."

Kaio, Jessica, and Zeke were all just looking at her, maybe speechless, or maybe just to afraid to say anything. Either way, Nicole knew this would have to come out some time or another.

"If you were wondering, that's why I was always shy all the time, I was too afraid I slip up. The real me is actually really bubbly..."

"What happens now?" Asked Zeke. "Don't you have to be whisked away by some kid of specail agents or something?"

"Whatever they do to me, I don't care, i've been hiding too long anyway. I'm hoping that by the time they find out, I'll be out of here."

So that was it... They were all just running away from problems that they really ought to face. He let the realisation flood over him. That was what he had been trying to grab hold of for so long... He was such a fool!

He looked at Andrea, Nicole.... He hadn't really wanted to betray her, he just wanted them to know so that they could help her... But he still felt guilty... He still felt as if he had crossed some invisible line that he wasn't meant to cross...

"I'm sorry..." He said quietly as their eyes met.

She shrugged with a rueful smile, "Everyone's sorry for something. But I think you did me a favour. I wouldnt have told anyone, would have bottled it all up inside, if you hadn't spilt it before hand." She looked different some how, standing there with her eyes glowing with a new found freedom that came with honesty.

"You know... I'm still the same person, just louder, as Nicole." She said after a while, "I still think you guys are the greatest friends I could ever have and... I still like baking...."

Kaio grinned, realising she was trying to lighten the air and hoping to help her a little, "And when those special agents come we'll kick their butt."

"Well, you wont, you'd rip open those stitches." Jessica was smiling again now and Zeke looked a little humoured. Kai guessed his experiances made him a little more inclined to respect witness protection that the rest of them.

"And how the hell would they know if your cover was shot to peices? We're not going to tell anyone." Kai smirked, "It'll be our little secret. Deal?"

Nicole looked releived and then she burst in tears.

Angeless had retreated back to the tree house. It was becoming his final resort of places he could hide out casualy. Some wounds ran too deep for even him to just bounce back. The body could heal....but emotional wounds could take a lifetime to heal up. He was getting into the habbit of looking over their old photo albums to occupie his mind.

"I thaught I'd find you up here "came Jenny's almost casual voice as she climbed through the ladder hole.

Angeless looked over his shoulder. His eyes were almost screaming out what he was feeling but he still managed to crack his old smile and laugh.

"Well I'm easy to find "he laughed like he meant it.

Jenny chuckled and sat down next to him. He knew she was keeping the act up aswell.

"I forgot how much of a hippie you used to be "she smiled looking at the picture.

"What do you mean used to be? Thaught I still was? "he asked?

"Nah You're more of a punk rocker... "smirked Jenny.

He flicked the page over and found one of them all at the beach.

"Hey I remember that one. You and Kai lost your shorts...and then had to make it back to the car "laughed Jenny.

He was thankfull for her keeping this act going he knew that she was really here to check up on him.

"By lost you mean You girls took them...and I walked to the car...Kai ran "sighed Angeless.

"Didn't you stop to talk to a cop? "asked Jenny.

"Yep...told him I was doing a sponsered nude beach walk...gave me $20 bucks and carried on "smirked Angeless.

He paused before he felt her shifting her weight trying to take something out of her pocket.

"I found this at the...umm I thaught you might want it back "she sighed holding out his ring.

Angeless looked at the ring and then looked away again.

"Do me a favor...Hold onto it for a while "he sighed.
For the first time in his life, Jordan didn't feel like himself. He thought that maybe he could be someone else. Almost like he was dreaming up this life for someone who wasn't him, seeing things through his eyes instead. He didn't like it, but at the same time, he realized that things were changing.

"Sorry about that," Jenny said softly as she made her way to his side. He was laying in a hospital bed now while they waited for his test results to come back. He was fine for the moment, they had just wanted to give him a place to lie down (that and Jenny had told him he needed to sleep). He had had a CAT scan and an MRI, taken blood blood samples, and other things of the like. Jenny had been there for all of it. "I just wanted to check up on him..." She added.

"Jenny," Jordan said as if he hadn't heard the last part, "who am I?" He asked. Jenny looked at him a little taken aback.

"What?" She asked, "Don't be silly Jordan, you're Jordan." He turned over in the bed to face her.

"Am I?" He asked, but didn't give her the chance to answer that, "Haven't you ever felt like you weren't you?" He asked, "Like everything that was happening was all made up, happening to someone else?"

Jenny got up and made a motion to lay down on the bed and Jordan moved over to give her enough room. She lay down, facing him, their foreheads nearly touching.

"More than you know." Jenny whispered. Jordan was quiet. He just looked into her eyes as she looked back into his and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her gently towards his own body.

"I'm sorry Jenny." He said after a minute or two.

"I've always felt like myself around you Jordy," she said, "even before all this... it wasn't anything you did, don't feel sorry." She explained.

"No." He said, "Not for that." He paused, "I'm just so sorry you have to be here with me." He said with the deepest feeling he could convey at the moment. Then he closed his eyes so he wouldn't have to see her reaction.

"Hey," Jenny said, "hey, open your eyes." He did. "Don't you ever feel sorry for something like that. Don't you know that if I didn't want to be here with you, I wouldn't be?" She was beggining to sound slightly accusatory. "Don't you know that?" She said quieter. But he didn't answer her. "Jordan," she started again, "I love you, okay? And when you love someone, you don't just pack up and leave when things get hard, you don't abandon them just because those hard things might hurt you." She paused, "I love you Jordan." She said again, quieter still, "and I'll always be here for you, I will never leave you... I thought I had made that clear earlier." He was quiet.

"That's the thing Jenny," he started, "I don't want to hurt you. I don't want you to feel the pain that I do. I don't want to disappoint you, or make you cry, or feel like you have some secret to hide... I don't want you to get sucked into this, and then feel like you can't leave."

"What's that supposed to mean, Jordan?" She asked, somewhat accusatory again.

"Hear me out," he said, "I mean, what if you ever stopped loving me, but then because of all of this, felt like you had to stay? That would only hurt us both even more, you see?"

"Jordan," she sighed, calming down a little, "if you're trying to break up with me, it's not going to work. Just because you feel guilty about this, doesn't mean that we can change our feelings for eachother. I'll always love you Jordan... you." She paused, "And if you think that this will change anything, you being sick, you're crazy. Because this won't change a thing."

"I wasn't trying to break up with you Jenny." He said, "I love you too. More than you love me, and so much that I don't want to hurt you, don't want to pull you down with me..."

"You're not hearing me Jordan." She said forcefully but still in a quiet voice.

"No Jenny, you are not hearing me... listen." He said, "You deserve the world, and the best of everything it can give you. And I would spend forever with you Jenny, if you wanted me too. I really would. But I just worry about that future of me and you because I don't feel like I can be what you need." He paused but she stayed quiet, "You'd be taking care of me, and that's fine, but if I was still sick, how could I return that favor to you? And, what if you ever wanted another kid? More kids? What if you wanted me to be a dad?" He asked, "I can't be the father Sabine needs, and I can't be the father any child of yours needs..."

"Why do you say that Jordan?" She asked, "Why?" He didn't speak for a minute.

"I don't know how to be a dad, Jenny..." he said softly, "I've never had one... and I have bad genes, why would I ever want to give your kids the chance of getting sick like I did? Or like my mom did?"

"Why?" She asked, repeating his question, "Because I know that you can learn to be a good parent, that we both can. And I know that if one of them ever got sick, you would be there to help them through it, that you have a strength I don't have to give them. Because I know you would love them, and want the best for them, and show them that you wanted all of those things. And because I love you Jordan Pryce, and because that's all that really matters."

Jordan's heart was racing. He had never meant to confess to Jenny that he felt all those things, or thought about them all. At least, he hadn't expected to do it now. And he was surprised at her reactions. The thing was, he couldn't figure out who was more right, but he hoped it was Jenny. He hoped she had meant all those things as deeply as he had meant what he said.

"Hey, hey," he heard Jenny's voice, "breathe Jordan..." She said, "Breathe." He was snapped out of his head to realize that he had stopped breathing for a second. He took in a quick, deep breath of air and looked back into Jenny's eyes, trying to steady his breaths. He needed her now, more than ever before.

"Am I interrupting something?" A woman's voice came from the doorway. They both stared at eachother for another moment, and Jenny looked at Jordan with a worried expression, as if trying to decide if he was okay.

"No." Jenny said eventually, trying to be polite. She slid out from under Jordan's arm and stood up, Jordan sat up in the bed. "No, you're fine." She said.

"Well, Dr. Matthews will see you now, both of you, in his office."
Jessica gathered Andrea... Nicole... in her arms, and calmed her a bit. Zeke rubbed his eyes and sat down. It had been a long time since he had gotten any real rest. And now all of this was going on. It was really gonna wear him down.

Kai looked over at him and smiled.

"When was the last time you slept properly?" he asked. Zeke just held his hand up and did the 'i know, i know' motion. Kai just nodded his understanding and laid back in his bed.

"Thanks for saving me from myself, man," he said quietly before falling asleep. Zeke just smiled.

"You always could go to sleep easier than I could."
Jessica was sitting next to a sleeping Zeke and was thinking quietly to herself.

'Hmmm...maybe Flordia's not such a bad idea after all... I mean Andrea wants to leave, Kaio needs to get away from his dad, hell, we could all use a break from all this drama.'

"Yeah!" Jessica said quietly out loud. Zeke stirred beside her and she went back to thinking.

'We already had a plan to go down there, and some of us even started packing... this might just be crazy enough to work.'

Excitedly, Jessica scribbled a note to Zeke explaining where she was going.

'If we want to pull this off,' Jessica thought, 'We have a lot of work to do.'

Sleep was such a comforting thing... He rarely dreamed anymore... So the dark, cool quiet that he emerged from was always as restful as it could possible be. He guessed it was because he had learnt to block things out... Maybe he could block out anything now? With a yawn he cracked open his eyes, remembering he would be leaving this place at some point today after his last examination. As long as he took it easy and didn't get into any fights... well he should be fine.

It sounded fair enough. And he knew he wouldn’t be going to go see his parents any time soon so he was sure it would be no problem. Anyway... he had a feeling something was about to happen that would take them on a complete new set of adventures in their last summer before college... Yet... He frowned... He didn't know if he was going to go anymore. He'd had that letter about the band...

They were so good now. He felt his eyes burning as he realised his friends weren't likely to give up their own dreams just because he called for it. They'd want a future if it failed and the only way to maintain that would be through education. He knew in himself that he would never do anything but music. It was his life and soul and everything. No matter... He'd write back soon...

"Hey mate."

He looked up... Angeless was back to visit. His eyes were empty in a way they had never been before. They needed a break... All of them needed a break.
"Kai I need to ask you for a favor "sighed Angeless leaning his head onto the railing of Kai's bed.

Kai looked at his friend knowing that if he was asking for a favor something was bothering him deeply.

"What do you need? "asked Kai?

Angeless looked up taking his head off the railing. Angeless looked tired and perhaps for the first time that Kai had ever known...defeated.

"I don't know who I am...the thing that made me...me. I think I've lost it somewhere along the road "sighed Angeless.

He caught the look Kai was giving him and he rested his head back down on the railing. He couldn't look him in the eyes...He felt like a coward.

"You're the strongest person I know Angeless. Personaly I'm surpised that you're even standing. You haven't slept once since the funeral... "sighed Kai.

Angeless looked up again he couldn't help but cover his eyes with his hands. It was the only thing he could do to hide the tears forming in his eyes.

"Jess followed you. You know that Jennies worried about you...we all are "sighed Kai.

"I feel dead on the inside. Have done for a while now...kind of like something died in me "sighed Angeless rubbing at his wrists drawing Kai attention to them and the band-aids stuck on them.

His eyes that had once been so bright were no so full of saddness.

"I almost slit my wrists this morning... "sighed Angeless.

"What? Why? "asked Kai?

"I just wanted to end it...I just wanted give up "sighed Angeless.

"What stopped you? "asked Kai sitting up alittle more.

"I wanted to find One song to leave behind. One song from the prity boy frontman...one last refrain "sighed Angeless

"What really stopped you? "asked Kai aprieciating his friend saying it.

"I heard you all telling me to hold on that it'll be alright. But I can't hold on...I don't want to fight for the rest of my life...I'm not that strong "sighed Angeless.

Kai smacked the back of his head hard and he raised his fist and then let it go.

"Don't do what you've been doing for so long. I know you avoid certain things so that you don't have to feel them. And it scares you to think that you're going to be left alone...and your heart is breaking becuase of it "sighed Kai in a slightly raised voice.

Angeless looked At Kai he was right he was being a coward by not letting people in.

"...Your problem is that you care too damm much...always have. Kind of admired you for it "sighed Kai.
Jordan and Jenny walked into Dr. Matthews’ office. He looked too young to be a doctor, but his credentials hung on the wall behind him. And Jordan knew this doctor from before, and knew he was at least a little experienced in the field. He didn't remember him all that much but, he seemed nice enough at least, smiling at them and all when they came in.

“Please, have a seat.” He said, with a pleasant expression on his face.

“This is Jenny.” Jordan introduced casually as they sat down.

“Will it be okay to discuss these things with her in here?” The doctor asked.

“Of course.” Jordan said, without hesitation, “She needs to know everything I do.”

“And do you want your aunt to be here?” He paused, “I’m sorry Jordan, I just have to ask these things.”

“She’s working.” He said, “It’s okay she’s not here, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Okay.” The doctor sat back in his chair and smiled, putting his hands behind his head and leaning back a little in the chair. He was definitely too young to be a doctor. “Well, let’s just get to it then?” He said, losing his smile a little bit, and getting more in the ‘business’ tone of things. “I got some good news and some bad news.” He said.

Why does it seem like that’s the only kind of news there ever is? The thought crossed Jordan’s mind.

Jenny reached over and grabbed his hand. He took it, not quite sure if she meant it to comfort him, or if she needed the comforting herself. Jordan just kind of nodded for the doctor to go on.

“Bad first, I guess?” It was almost a question, but he didn’t leave enough space for either one to venture at an answer or agreement, “Well,” he sighed, “there’s no easy way to say this, Jordan, but it’s back. Or at least, there’s a tumor in your head, like before.” He said in a nice way, trying not to make it sound so scary. He was one of Jordan’s doctors before, not the head one (he was probably fresh out of med school then), but he was familiar with his records.

Jenny squeezed his hand, “I’m here for you, Jordy.” She said in a low voice, but he could hear her old determination in her words. He didn’t squeeze back though, and he didn’t really make any reaction at all on the outside. He just sat there, as if he was expecting to hear that anyways. But on the inside, his heart sunk a little. He guessed he was kind of expecting to hear that it was back, but he still had some inkling of hope that maybe his head was lying to him, and the doctors found that he was in the clear after all.

“But, the good news.” Doctor Matthews went on, perking up his tone a bit, “We caught it early this time, Jordan, that’s good. You need to have an operation, but with the surgery and, if necessary some low dosage chemotherapy, the prognosis is good.”

“You know I hate that word, Jay.” Jordan said, leaning back in his chair and addressing the doctor by his first name. Doctor Matthews smiled a little bit.

“Me too, Jordan, me too.” He said.

“When do we need the surgery?” Jordan asked.

“The sooner the better.” Jordan nodded.

“Right…” He paused, “Let’s schedule it now.” He said. Doctor Matthews nodded and went to typing on his keyboard.

“Two days, Jordy?” He asked, “I know it’s soon and, I don’t want to rush things if you don’t but… you know how it is?” Jordan nodded.

“I’ll be there.” They finalized the details, shook hands, and then Jenny and Jordan were let out into the hall. It all happened so fast, Jordan was still trying to wrap his mind around what happened and get his feet grounded again.

“Jordan…” Jenny started. They stood out in an empty hallway now. Jordan was leaning up against the wall, and Jenny was standing in front of him, almost as if she had him pinned there. He tried to smile at her.

“I know it’s a lot, Jenny.” He said, trying to be reassuring, “Believe me, I do. But we have to do this, right?” He asked her, wanting an answer. She seemed reluctant to give it at first.

“Yes…” Her voice trailed, “I know Jordan, but… aren’t you scared?” She asked.

“Every second.” He answered back, slowly moving to wrap Jenny up in a hug. “But if that second is even one more second that I get to spend with you, or with my friends, or with my family… it will always be worth the fright that comes with it. Always, and don’t forget that.”

“I love you, Jordan.” She whispered.

“I know.” He said, kissing the top of her head and pulling her a little closer, “And I have always loved you.”
Zeke awoke to find a note from Jessica in his hand. 'Where was she off to now?, he wondered. He cleared his head and read the note. So she had decided that maybe the Florida thing wasn't such a bad idea after all. 'That's my girl,' Zeke smiled to himself.

He got up from where he was sleeping and cracked his back. That felt good. He knew he had slept awkwardly, and the stretching helped to relief the awkwardness. He looked around to see Angeless sleeping on the chair by Kai's bed, and Kai twidling his thumbs as he lay there.

Zeke walked over to Kai and handed him the note. Kai smiled and handed it back.

"Well, I say when I get out of here, let's do it," he said. Zeke nodded and told Kai he'd be ready. And then he left the hospital. After all, he had to get prepared himself.
By now it's probably Saturday June 25th

Jessica had been at home for a few hours running around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to figure this all out. There was a million things that needed to get done and by now she thought she had covered about half of them.

She still had her bags packed from when they were supposed to go, she had never bothered to unpack them. Jessica also was on the phone for a bit and it turns out the condo she rented was still available. Her car was still in good condition so she figured they could still take that.

There was still the matter of how they were going to finance this, what they wanted to do, and how long they were going to stay.

Jessica was planning on having a meeting to discuss everything later that day. She had already called everyone and had gotten a positive response from everyone that they'd be there. Angeless said he was going to wait with Kaio, and they would be over after his final exam.

Hopefully Jessica was thinking, if this all worked out, they would be leaving first thing tomorrow morning.
Nicole was feeling a lot better now having come clean about her true identity. She had gotten Jessica's message and she was going to head over right after she went home.

Nicole hadn't seen her mother since they went to headquarters, and she knew she would have to go home and face her eventually. Hopefully thought, she wouldn't have to stay to long. All she wanted to do was grab some of her nessicities for the trip and get out of there. She could buy what she didn't have once they got down there.

Nicole was still thinking things through when she arrived at her house.

'Yay, good luck!' nicole thought to herself, 'Mother's not home.'

Quickly she went upstairs, grabbed a suit case, and started blindly throwing things in. After about 10 minutes, Nicole herd the click of a key in the front door.

"Damnit!" Nicole muttered under her breath.

Knowing there was no possible way for her to escape her mother she waited patiently for her mother to appear. Within minutes Nicole's mother was standing in the doorway to her bedroom, hands on her hips.

"Just where do you think you are going?" Her mother demanded.

"Away... with my friends..." Nicole replied, still throwing things into her suitcase.

"You can't leave, do you know how much trouble you're in?" her mother's voice had dropped to a whisper, as if afriad someone would overhear her.

"OH," Nicole started, "Yes, I CAN leave, and there's nothering YOU can do to stop me!" With that Nicole picked up her suitcase, walked past her mother, down the stairs and out through the front door.

"YOU'LL BE SORRY!!" her mother shouted out the door after her.

Nicole didn't even mind, she was too busy thinking about Flordia.


This, he decided, should be good. He wasn't sure what the others thought of it but as he stodd up, albeit stiffly, for the first time in days, he found himself relishing the idea of going to somewhere ridiculously sunny with a beach. He wondered where they'd stay. How they were going to pay for everything and anything they may need. He knew that he'd been saving for the past few years... Ah well who cared? They would all be together, ready to party, ready to have fun.

A nurse offered him a wheelchair which he glared at wih all he could muster in his good mood and glanced at Angeless who was watching in amusement at the transaction.

"Stop laughing at me," Kaio grumbled and shoved his hands in his pockets, "I know you are."

He wasn't even going to look up to see the complete-innocent look that would inevitably be feigned on his friend's face. Instead he let the happiness he was feelign at being let out mix with his excitement so he, himself began to laugh.

"I can't believe we're actually going away. Is everyone in the know now?" He walked up beside the taller boy and finally glanced up, feeling a pang of guilt as he saw the conflicting emotions of sadness and excitement and hurt in the depths of the others eyes. He was being so thoughtless.

"I think the only people who don't know are Jen and Jordy. Haven't seen th'm around recently...." And there was the thrumb of regret just pulling on Angeless's voice.

Kai wanted to try and make the mood lighter as they worked their way out of the hospital and into the fresh air that he couldn't help but breath in witha soft, contented sigh. Something about the sterile, too clean taste of sanatised hospital air that lingered in the back of your throat made Kaio hate the buildings even more than he would have otherwise.

"Let's take guitars and we can sit on the beach around a campfire... Remember when we used to do that over on the hill in the park?"

"Until we got caught."

"But you remember how we got caught?"

Finally the edge of a smile seemed to consider appearing on Angeless's lips, "Yeah, I've never run so fast from a pregnant woman in my life."

Zeke and Jessica would be waiting at home, probably with Andrea and Jo.... He couldn't wait to see them... But where were Jen and Jordy? He frowned as the two of them slipped into the car... He knew something was wrong. The pit of his stomach was churning in that all too familair way. Why couldn't anything be normal for once?
"You know I considered becoming a teacher...Heck I've even got the papers written up in my room "sighed Angeless.

Kai looked semi shocked by his statement but then smiled.

"Why? thaught you disliked kids...except for Sabine "laughed Kai.

"Come on Jenny knows that I help out at the kindergarden, She's dropped Sabine in plenty of times "he sighed his smile faltering for a moment.

Kai looked at Angeless's wrists as he turned the steering wheel. He'd wrapped lengths of now grubby Bandages around them.

"Don't worry...Not suicidal. Figured these looked better than the pink flowery plasters "smirked Angeless.

"Thaught you loved Pink? "teased Kai.

Angeless smirked.

"Pink is a nice strong manly colour "sighed Angeless before bursting out laughing.

"Mind if I turn on the radio? "asked Kai?

"Why do you always ask? I've told you god knows how many times if you want it on just whack it on "laughed Angeless.

"Becuase....None of us can get that bloody thing to turn on. Remember! "chuckled Kai.

Angeless reached out his right hand and twisted the power button on the radio and it came on. He had a knack for finding Depressing stuff.

"Cold? "asked Kai while he was listening?

"Yep...we did a cover of Happen's all the time a while back "smiled Angeless as he put the roof down.

Flicking on his sun glasses he tapped the CD player. Kai laughed after only a few seconds of the song.

"Why are we listening to Bounce?

"Cos its a fun song....or would you prefere any number of my depresssing CD's. It's not easy to be? or maybe Lonely day. There's some more down by your feet "smirked Angeless as he smoked to ciggarettes at once.
Jordan and Jenny were lounging around his living room when his cell phone started buzzing on the coffee table. For a second, Jordan just stared at it.

“Answer it, Jordy.” Jenny urged. He picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID.

“It’s Kaio.” He said, “Was he getting out today?” Jenny just shrugged. “Hello?” Jordan answered.

“Jordy. Glad to see you’re still among the living.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jordan came back, a little too defensive.

“Hey, I was just saying… no one’s heard from you or Jenny for, like, a day. Just wanted to make sure you guys were still alright and all.” He said, sounding a little taken aback. Jordan breathed a sigh.

“I’m sorry, Kai. I didn’t mean to snap at you. It’s just that… I’m kind of tired. Jenny’s here with me at my house and we’re both fine. Where are you?”

“Angeless is driving me from the hospital.” Kai answered. There was still concern in his voice, but Jordan could tell he was going to leave it alone.

“Oh,” Jordan said, “well… is he okay?”

“Yeah…” Kai said, “Why?”

“I think he’s mad at me for something. I don’t know, he says we’re cool and everything, but I can still tell something’s wrong and he isn’t telling me. Maybe you could find out, but don’t tell him I’m asking, you know?”

“Sure.” Kai answered, understanding. “So… have you guys heard about the Florida plans?”

“Florida? We threw that out the window ages ago.” Jordan laughed a little.

“No, it's back on. Pack up your stuff and head over to Zeke’s house, we’ll be leaving as soon as everyone’s ready.”

“Right away?” Jordan asked.

“Yeah, problem?”

“Nah…” Jordan said, trying to play it cool, “We’ll be there.”

“Sweet.” Kai said, and Jordan could hear the smile on his face, “Don’t forget your guitar.” He hung up the phone with Kai and placed it back on the table. He shot a worried look at Jenny but, noticing the anxiety in her eyes, quickly changed to a smile.

“Still wanna go to Florida?” He asked with a grin.

“Jordan…” She sighed, “You have your surgery tomorrow. We can’t go.”

“Jenny.” He said, turning to face her and taking her hands in his, “Nobody knows how long they have to live before they leave this place. I mean, any day you wake up could be the day you die. Maybe my time’s coming faster than I want, or maybe I’ll be fine… but if tomorrow’s my last day… I want to spend it with my friends… and with my girl.” He said smiling a little, and moving slightly closer to her. “I don’t want to miss this chance.” He added a little quieter.

She leaned forward a little bit, placing her head on his chest. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her closer.

“Do you remember how when we were younger Jess and I would always fight?”

“You were girls. Girls always fight with their best friends.” He smiled as Jenny laughed a little bit.

“But do you remember what you always used to tell us?”

“What?”

“When one of us would say something nasty and then storm off, you’d always say ‘is that how you want to leave it if you never talk to each other again?’”

Jordan chuckled, “Yeah, I remember that.” Jenny smiled.

“My answer was always ‘yes,’” She said, “But at the same time… I always knew you were right. You’ve always been able to do that to me, Jordan. You always make sense, even when I think I disagree.” He smiled.

“Does that mean we’re going to Florida?” He asked after a minute of silence. Jenny sat up and looked him in the eyes with a smile on her face.

“I think that means… we’re going to Florida!” She said, newly enthused.

“I’ll go pack.”

So Jordan left to go gather up some of his things in a small duffle bag. As he packed, he phoned his doctor and rescheduled his surgery. At first, Doctor Matthews was reluctant to say it was okay to reschedule, but Jordan made it clear that he wasn’t going to be there tomorrow, he had already made up his mind about that, and so it was a better choice to reschedule now than later. Eventually, he convinced his doctor to let him go.

Once he was packed, he threw his bag and pillow into his truck, along with his guitar, said good bye to his aunt and then he and Jenny set off for Jenny’s house. She packed up her things as well while Jordan built a castle out of blocks with Sabine. Jenny had to do a little convincing herself before her mother said she could go, but eventually, they were out the door and headed to Zeke’s to meet up with everyone else.

“This is going to be good.” Jordan said, as they drove off.

“Yeah,” Jenny looked over at him and gave an apprehensive smile, grabbing his hand, “I sure hope so.”
Jenny was skeptical at first about going to Florida when Jordan was still sick. She imagined him collapsing in the car, their friends worried and angry that they had not known before about his sickness. But then Jenny thought about the windows down, her hair flowing behind her, Sabine safely with her mother, and a sense of freedom that would overcome her. Plus, she would have Jordan all by himself. There would be no sickness with him; he would be free of it for hours at a time. As they were packing she smiled at him.

"Jordan," she laughed. "I'm so glad we're all going to be together. But don't you think you need more than one change of underwear?"

Jenny laughingly held up a pair of blue striped boxers and leaped on the bed, jumping around as Jordan tried to snatch the boxers back.

When she eventually got off the bed and handed them back to him, she kissed him on the cheek.

Jordan was laughing, red faced in shyness and happy to have something else to think about.

"Maybe you and Angeless should sit together on some of the way," he said tentively.

"What?" Jenny sat down on the bed. Her old spirit had been coming back lately; even the snide remarks, the brutal truths began to leak out of her mouth. She became a bit defensive. "I have some problems with that, Jordan."

Jordan shrugged and smiled a bit to himself. "We'll see."

They finished packing and went off to find their friends, ready for a new place, a new setting, ready to greet the world that had just started to seem a bit too small.
Zeke quickly crammed a bunch of clothes and accessories that he would need for the trip to Florida. He had about five outfits in there, plus something to wear for bed, when they found somewhere to sleep.

His cell phone began ringing, and Zeke dived for it, knowing it to be his fiance's ringtone. He quickly grabbed it and answered.

"Hello?" he said.

"Hey, baby," he heard Jessica's soft voice over the other line. Man, how he loved her voice. Just hearing it made him explode.

"Hey. What's up?"

"Nothin. Just wonderin' if you were ready."

"Almost. I have just a little more to pack, then I'm out the door."

"Alright. See you in a little while."
"Finally!" Jessica said as she closed the door behind Jenny and Jordan, "Everyone's here!"

Nicole, Jenny, Jordan, Kaio, Angeless, Zeke, and Jo were all sitting around Jessica's living room. Their bags and everything else they were taking were piled in the foyer.

Jessica, who was standing in the middle of the room, had a list in her hands which was obviously going to be the topic of discussion.

"Listen up people, we've got a lot to cover in a short amount of time..." Jessica siad, with a humorus ammount of authority.

"Aye Aye Captin" Jordan saluted.

There was a smal outburst of giggles, but a stern look from Jess, supressed their laughing.

"First thing's first, is everyone packed?" She asked looking around the room.

Everyone nodded.

"Good," she said as she made a check on her paper. "Next is the matter of getting there. We can all fit in my car, but we'll have to drive in shifts. I figure if we don't make any stops we can probably make it there in about 24 hours more or less."

"What if we have to pee?" Angeless asked, a questioning finger pointed in the air.

Jessica just rolled her eyes and continued. " Zeke can take the first 6 hours, Jordan can take the next 6, Angel the next 6, and I'll take the last 6. That okay?"

No one replied so she went on "Next to our living arrangments, as some of you may have forgotten I've rented us a Condo down there. It's 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, and I think ithas two twin pullouts. It also comes with a conveinance kitchen, and a small living area. It runs for about $850 a month."

Jess looked around to see if anyone commented, and went back to her list. " Now to the matter of..."

"Wait?," Kaio asked, "Exactly how long are we going to stay?"

There were murmurs of "Yeah, and How long?"

"Well," Jess said, "I really haven't figured that part out..."

There was more mixed conversation when Zeke interupted, " Why don't we just leave that and decide once we've been down there for a bit when we want to come home?"

"Okay," Jess said, "There's one more thing... what are we going to do when we get there?!!"

A smile was on everyone's face, and she knew this was going to be a blast.
Nicole was thrilled, now that she was totally open with her friends, she actually felt like she could let loose and have some fun.

"How about right now?" someone said.

"Wait, wait wait," she heard Zeke's voice. "Don't you all think we should get some rest before we go?"

"Hell with rest" Angeless said, "I want OUT of here!"

A wave of excitment passed through the room as everyone scrambled to get their stuff and out the door.

Nicole thought to herself, 'This is definatley going to be a summer to remember.'
Angeless had jumped into one of the back seats before anybody else had really got to pick were the wanted to sit. Glancing back he checked his bike was still secured to them.

Nicole was sat next to him with Jo sat just infront of them. Kai was sat next to Jordan and Jenny. Jess in the front next to Zeke.

"Right now before we leave has everybody got everything? "asked Jess looking round from the front passenger seat?

"Oh wait! I forgot something "sighed Angeless as he realised his lighter wasn't in his pocket.

Angeless fumbled in his pockets for a moment and got out of the van quickly and then checked the porch. He came back a few minutes later carrying his guitar and a plastic bag full of cigarette packs, lighters and matches.

"Forgot to pack em into the back... "he sighed shrugging his shoulders.

They looked at him stunned.

"What? "he asked with an unlit cig hanging from his lip?

"You realise they sell cigs all over the country "smirked Zeke looking round.

"Whats your point? "he asked throwing a pack forwards to Kai?

"...Never mind "sighed Zeke as he started the engine.

Angeless was leaning so he was resting his head on the window while he smoked. Flicking it out he payed slightly more attention to what they were talking about. He was absent mindedly struming his guitar while he was listening.

"Find one song, One last refrain
From the pretty boy front man,Who wasted opportunity, a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire, An eternal flame
One song, A song about love, From the soul of a young man "he was singing again softly to himself more than anything else just something to pass the time.

"He's sing Glory again! "sighed Jo.

"...thaught you were asleep. "he sighed before he began to imitate country music to entertain them.

"Weeellll.... "he sang in a corny voice taking a deep breath.

"If you start singing UncleF***er I swear I'll turn this car around and take us right back home "laughed Zeke.

Angeless laughed with everyone.

"Spoilsport...You know I only know two types of music...depressing and rude "sighed Angeless playing with his ponytail.

"Fair point "Smirked Jo passing Angeless's Cd forward.

Ten minutes later he'd managed to rope them into singing along to most of the songs on the Cd he'd passed Zeke. It was currently playing 'F*** Her Gently' and they were all singing along.

It was fun just being around them talking and laughing. They'd only been on the road for the last 3 hours.

"Anybody else wishing we'd scored some pot "Joked Jordan.

"You're starting to sounding like Angel "laughed Jenny.

Angeless rumaged in his bag for a moment and pulled out a pack of what they all guessed to be weed.

"Were in the hell did you get that! "they all asked?

Jordan was looking around quietly as he already knew were it had come from since Angeless had shown him were he kept it.

"Grew it...Duh "he sighed shaking his head as he put the bag away.

"If any cops stop us were screwed "laughed Nicole.

"Please...I smoked more than this before an exam and still passed "Smirked Angeless as he drank from one of ther many bottles of wather while tossing a lighter to Kai.

"Yes you passed....out "laughed Kai catching the lighter Angeless had tossed to him.

They were now playing how many times has Angeless injured himself in fights.

"I still maintain he kicked himself in the nuts "smirked Angeless.

"You sent a drycleaning bill to him in hospital to pay to get his blood out of your shirt...You don't get much ballsier than that "laughed Jenny.

"..."

"what? "asked Jenny seeing Kai, Jo and Jordan's faces trying not to smile?

"He nailed the new woodwork teacher "Laughed Jo.

"What? NO S***! When? "Asked Zeke?

Angeless had gone deeply red after catching Jenny's face.

"Can we not talk about that "he sighed avoiding her eyes.
“Yeah, I think it’s nap time anyways.” Jordan said, trying to take the attention off of what Angeless didn’t want to talk about.

“We’ve been on the road for like three hours Jordy!” Zeke called back to him, “We haven’t done anything to make you tired.” He laughed at him a little.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jordan answered back, “But I’ve got the next shift, don’t want me falling asleep at the wheel do ya?” He smiled at Zeke in the rear-view mirror.

“All right.” Zeke finally gave in.

“Make sure no one does anything to me while I’m sleeping, right?” Jordy looked around suspiciously at everyone, with a grin on his face.

“No one’s promising anything.” Kai said.

“Protect me?” He asked innocently, turning to Jenny. But there was more in the question than lay on the surface. He wanted to make sure nothing happened to him while he was sleeping, on the outside, or on the inside.

“Course Jordan.” Jenny said softly to him, hearing the ‘more’ in the question, “I’ll wake you.” And he could tell she meant if it was his turn to drive, or if something else happened. She curled into him as he leaned against the window, wrapping his arm around her and slowly closing his eyes.

“I love you.” He whispered into her ear, “Thank you.” And he felt her hug him a little closer.
Jenny watched Jordan while he slept, and realized that she was listening more to his breathing than the conversation around her. Every now and again she would glance at Angeless, watching his melancholy face as he took drags on a cigarette.

She slowly raised herself off of Jordan's chest, situated him so that he was comfortable, and took one last, good look at him. He seemed relaxed, comfortable, and happy. She turned around in her seat to look at Angeless, her tan arms crossing on the back.

"When we get to the hotel, I'll get stoned with yah," she said, smiling.

Angeless, who had been in a deep reverie, looked up from his cigarette, startled.

He smiled when he saw who was talking to him. "Turning back into a little rebel, I see?"

Jenny shrugged. "Hey, I haven't changed any."

Angeless's smile was gone. "I have," he said absentmindedly. He took a long drag and blew the smoke out the window.

Jenny realized this was more to himself than her. She didn't acknowledge the comment.

"What," she asked, giving him a little hit on his hand. "You don't think I'm the same? Go on, ask me a question. See if I answer the same as it used to be."

Angeless paused, thinking. "Do you love me?" he asked.

Genevieve tried not to act taken aback. She looked at Jordan who was still in a deep sleep, his chest slowly moving up and down with each breath.

When she turned back to Angeless he was nodding. "So, you've changed."

Genevieve was mad. "Why are you always so sore?" she huffed. "Can't we just be friends again?"

Now Angeless smiled. "Calm down, wild pony. Calm down. I was wrong. That temper is still the same." He brushed a piece of hair from her face.

"With the permission of my good friend, and your better friend, Jordan, we'll get stoned at the next stop."

Genevieve smiled. "Can we get some hot dogs from room service? I'm gonna be pretty hungry..." Genevieve looked reflective. "Already am actually...."

Angeless laughed. "Sure, hot dogs on me," he said. "I'll even buy you chocolate milk. Your favorite drink when you're blazed."

Jenny laughed so loudly, Jordan stirred next to her. She put a light hand on his arm to make up for it.

"How sweet," she said to Angeless, still giggling. "You remembered."

She turned back around and rested her head back against Jordan. They were both peaceful.
Zeke, ever watchful of his friends, had also understood the meaning behind Jordan's plea. He wondered just what was wrong with Jordan, but he didn't ask. He just kept driving. Then, hearing the conversation between Angeless and Jenny, he smiled.

"No one's getting stoned at our first stop," he said in a mock command. Everyone smiled. Angeless put on a puppy dog face.

"B-but, Zekey," he trembled his lips a little for effect and everyone giggled. Zeke made sure not to laugh too hard, lest he wake up Jordan. Right now, Jordan needed to sleep as much as he could. Because when he woke up, Zeke needed to talk to him.
"Okay everyone, you have 20 minutes until we meet back in the car..." Jessica started, her leadering, slightly bossy side said.

"20 minutes to do your buisiness, get something to eat or whatever, and then we switch drivers, okay?"

Everyone nodded and headed for the multi-purpose rest station.

Jessica went inside to use the ladies room and pick up some snacks for everyone.

She paid the cashier and went outside to check one of her many guidebooks. Being the worry wart nut that she is, Jessica packed about ten different guidebooks that listed anything and everything to do with Flordia.

So far they'd made pretty good time. Another couple hours and they would be in Flordia!

Leaning against the car reading her guidebook she looked up and scanned the area. Everyone else was still inside and she seemed to be the only one in the parking lot.

Just then a shiny black car pulled in and a man with brown hair and dark sunglasses stepped out of the car.

Studying the man Jessica thought to herself 'He looks awfully familair.'

Trying not to draw attention to herself Jessica walked around to the side of the van to put her book away. Jessica made sure that she could still see the mans reflection in the window.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable that this man still hadn't gone anywhere Jessic started to make her way back inside. Her pace was steady at first, but soon hastened when she saw him following her.


"F***" Jessica whispered.

He was back... and right on her tail.

Kaio had woken with a little start as the others had clambered out of the car. He groaned. When had he fallen asleep. Could he have slept for any more time? He'd wasted the past few days sleeping. Cursing to himself he stretched and headed out after the others. There was no reason to feel off, though he did. His gut instincts were telling him that something wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. But that could just be the fact that he really needed the loo...

Shaking out his hair he noticed that they now had three guitars with them. Their cases were all pressed into the boot. Did they have a bass? Maybe they had a bass. Either way he would be happy. And maybe he'd finally write some more music. He and Angeless could find themselves razzed and rambling out records. A tune was blending through his head... The way it always did when he had little to do and too much to think about... It seemed slow... A little like Elliott Smith's 'Thirteen'. Pretty tune... Humming lightly he made his way to where the others were standing outside the toilets.

"Who's in there?"

"Zeke."

"Cool."

Jordan was smiling slightly, enjoying the fresh air? He couldn't believe that, this place smelt of petrol and gas. Then again, Jordan was probably just smiling at being with everyone else. He always had been like that. Angeless wasn't smiling, he wondered if there was any tension still lingering between the two of them. He really hoped not.

"Right I'm going to go find the girls." Zeke stepped out, shaking his hands dry.

The others just nodded and went back to waiting, now it was just him and Angeless, "Alright Angel?"

"Yeah. Want to get lean?" So little had changed. He could imagine doing this forever. But he knew it was going to end sooner or later. Though...

"Yeah. Sounds good..." Kaio paused as if he was thinking, "Do you reckon you'd want to stick out this record deal with me?" He tried to sound flippant. But he knew that unless there was one person on his side, his dream was over. He'd have to send the rsvp saying 'sorry but the other's all quit'. Of course he'd ask the others as well but... Angeless was the one person he felt he could see doing it too.

Angeless stared at him a moment. Ice slid down Kaio's neck. Surely that could mean only one thing.

"Kai-"

"Bathroom's up." Jordan smiled then grimaced as he, like Zeke, began to shake his hands, "I wouldn't touch the towel thing. It's full of cobwebs."

That was when a shriek shot up into the sky and scratched their ears. They all paused now, staring round to where the sound had come from.

"Probably a spider in the ladies room." Angeless said after a second too long waiting.

They laughed slightly and Angeless went in. Kaio's shoulders slumped. The question had been avoided. That meant only one thing...
"Ask me again at the next stop...I haven't had all that much time to think things over "sighed Angeless as he relieved himself into the toilet.

"Sure... "sighed Kai.

"....Remind me to wack Jordan...Dude left a floater "chuckled Angeless as he came out.

"Thats gross ang" Kai laughed as he went into the stall.

"I never actualy said thank you...For stopping me....I've had some rough shit to deal with last coulpe weeks "sighed Angeless lighting up two cigs and holding the other over the door of the stall.

"Cheers....I think everyones entitled to a bad week...You've just got to look on the bright side "laughed Kai.

"Bright side? I haven't had sex for the better part of 3 weeks "laughed Angeless.
“Jordy!” Zeke called to him as Jordan was walking back to the van. He stopped and turned around to see Zeke jogging a little to catch up to him.

“Hey Zeke.” Jordan said, “What’s up, man?”

“We should talk.” Zeke said when he finally got next to Jordan. Jordan stopped walking and stood, facing Zeke in the parking lot.

“What about?” Jordan asked him. Zeke was quiet, obviously not quite sure in how to phrase the question he had on the tip of his tongue. Jordan just looked at him with a questioning expression growing on his face. “Zeke?”

“Yeah… I was… I was just thinking… How… I mean is…” Zeke stuttered to get the right question out.

“Zeke.” Jordan said, putting a hand on his friend’s shoulder, “Take a breath and tell me what you want to talk about. I don’t judge.” He smiled a little, “We’re friends here.”

“Sorry, Jord.” Zeke said, he took a breath in and out before he asked, “Are you okay? I mean… really okay?”

Jordan’s face turned from a smile into more of a blank look, he took his hand off of Zeke’s shoulder and turned his eyes away from him, stepping back a little and taking a few steps away before coming back to look at Zeke again.

“I’m all right, Zeke.” He said simply.

“I don’t believe that.” Zeke accused, “I don’t know exactly what’s going on Jordan, but I know something’s not right. Don't get me wrong, you're good at hiding it, but...” Jordan was trying not to get worked up or angry, especially not at Zeke.

“We’re friends, Zeke, been that way for a long time,” he said calmly, “but sometimes we keep secrets for reasons.” He turned to walk away, but Zeke caught him on the shoulder, turning him back around.

“And you don’t trust me?” Zeke asked. Jordan didn’t know what to say.

“That’s not it, Z… I just care about you too much to bring you into this right now.”

“But Jenny? You tell her?” Jordan could tell Zeke was getting angry and worked up. “You tell her? When you say you love her. You bring her into it, but you won’t tell me? Are you telling me you don’t care about her?”

“You’re not understanding.” Jordan said, “It’s different for me and Jenny.”

“How?” Zeke’s comeback was quick, and caught Jordan off guard. He didn’t have an answer. When Zeke saw this, he took a deep breath and when he spoke again, it was a calmer voice that came through. “My point is that we’re all friends and we’re all here for each other. You know that right?”

“Yeah.” Jordan said, “But Z, if you only knew… It would ruin this whole trip. If everyone knew… things would start to focus on me, and Zeke… you know I don’t like that kind of thing. Everyone is better off right now if they don’t know.”

Zeke looked at him, a hint of understanding at what Jordan was saying.

“I’m sick, Zeke.” Jordan said when his friend had nothing more to say.

“Like…” The thought formed on Zeke’s lips, but didn’t fully come out.

“No.” Jordan said, shaking his head, “No, not like my mom.” Zeke was one of the only people outside of his family that really knew about his mom.

“Like a cold?” Zeke kept grasping for some kind of an answer.

“No… not like a cold either.”

“Then like what?” Zeke asked. Jordan was thinking so fast about what to tell Zeke that he barely even noticed Jenny walking up.

“Hey boys.” She said happily as she leaned in and gave Jordan a kiss on the cheek. But he just stood there, looking at Zeke like she hadn’t just done that.

“Take your time.” Zeke said, “Just know that I’m here for you… whenever.” And at the last word, Zeke turned and left Jenny and Jordan standing there.

“What was that all about?” Jenny asked, slipping her hand around Jordan’s waist. Jordan kept looking at Zeke’s back.

“Nothing.” He said, smiling at her and placing his arm around her shoulders and kissing the top of her head.

“Ready for the drive?” She asked him in a happy tone.

“Of course.” He said, now masking the conversation he and Zeke had just had, smiling as they walked back to the van to join the others.
Though Zeke needed to know what was going on with Jordan, he knew he had to give his friend time to fully be ready to tell him. That was what made Jordy, well, Jordy. Zeke smiled at it. As long as they had known each other, they had always had secrets that they wouldn't tell each other at first, but later spilled it.

And now Zeke was conflicted. Should he let Jordan drive, knowing that something was wrong with him. Or should he force Jordan to sit this one out. Of course he couldn't do that, because it would alert the others that something was going on.

Finally, Zeke made his decision. He would let Jordan drive, but a keep a close eye on him, just in case. He turned the corner, looking for Jessica. He saw her running from a guy in a black coat. This guy looked oddly familiar.

Zeke ran towards them.
Jessica was too busy trying to but as much distance between her and her brother that she hadn't even noticed that she was at a dead end. Turning sharply around, fists in the air, Jessica was prepared to attack. He finally cought up with her and Jessica aimed a hard blow right to his stomach.

"Ugh" he grunted in pain.

Recoparating he managed to whisper "Wait" before Jessica whacked him again.

"What could you possibly have to say to me?" Jessica spat, hate etched in every line of her face.

"I just wanted to say-"

"CRASH!!!!" Zeke had finally cought up with them, and just tackled her brother to the ground. Both were throwing punches left and right.

"STOP IT STOP IT!!!!!!" At this point Jessica was sobbing as she grabbed Zeke's shoulders and attempted to pry the two apart.

Panting both boys lay seperated on the ground.

"NOW STOPPPP BOTH OF YOU!!" Jessica screamed.

Turning to her brother tears still streaming down her cheeks she said, "Now what were you going to say?"

" I just- " He was hesitant as her brother kept throwing nervous glances at Zeke who looked simply phychotic.

Stepping in their line of vision Jessica stood between them hands on her hips.

Avoiding her eyes her brother said " I just wanted to find you and tell you, that I'm sorry, I' really truly sorry about what happened when we were younger. I'm not going to be around forever, and I want to apologise before it's too late..."

"Well.." Jessica stated sourly. "I wish I could say I'm sorry too, but I can't, because I'll never feel sorry for not forgiving you..."

After a good long threatening and yelling from Zeke, they started to head back to the car.

Zeke opened his mouth to speak, but Jessica gently put a finger to his lips to quite him.

"I don't want to talk right now" she said as she slid her fingers into his, "Not yet."

And with that Zeke knew without anymore words having to be said, that it was best to let the matter drop for now. Besides, in another couple hours they'd all be on the beach watching the sunset.
Nicole was standing at the Van with Jordan Jenny, Kaio, Jo and Angeless. The only two who were missing were Jess, and Zeke.

No sooner had Nicole start to get a little worried, here they came hand in hand, although they were coming from the oppisite direction of the rest center.

AS they got closer Nicole noticed that something looked different about Zeke's face. It looked as if his left eye was swollen. Nicole wasn't the only one who had noticed...

"What happened to you?" Angeless asked as the two came into earshot.

Zeke just smiled and said "Nothing important..."

"Yeah" smirked Jodan skeptically, "Right."

"Listen," Jess started cutting in, "If it was anything that serious you guys would have known okay?"

Everyone looked skeptical but Jess remained her positive self and checked her watch, "Now come on, we were supposed to be on the road a half hour ago..."

Everyone scambled into the car but Nicole still couldn't help thinking that something somewhat serious had happened. But maybe she should just trust her friends, as Jess had said, if it was anything serious, her friends would know.