A/N: This is my first story, so if you could be at all lenient when reading, I'd really appreciate it.

Prologue: Part I: Meetings


I never understood depression. I saw people I knew with the disorder and wondered why they couldn't be happy with their life. Why did they have to work so hard to come up with ways to make a situation seem horrible? Why couldn't they over come what petty problems surrounded them? Did they honestly feel that their problems were worse then everyone else's? That they were the only ones with problems? Why should they bring everyone else down, just because they're feeling crappy? It infuriated me.

I never understood that people with the disorder couldn't help feeling the way they did; it was part the "depression package". I was very naïve to those sorts of things in life, but depression had to be the one thing I understood least.

I had lived a sheltered life, I'll admit it, never having anything bad happen to me, but I still understood what horrible things went on in the world. With all the abuse, neglect, hate, violence, rape and what not, I could understand how some people could be depressed.

I just never understood all those things could go on so close to home.

But despite my ignorance to such things, they did occur. Right under my nose, as a matter of fact. I later found out that many of the people I knew suffering from depression had had to endure the same abuse, neglect, hate, violence, and rape that I was talking about.

Eventually, things played out in such a way that I eventually did understand everything they were going through. My life wasn't always sheltered, and as I went into high school I began to receive more freedom to do as I pleased. By staying out later and going to more dangerous places, I was able to experience new things. Not all of them were good, but at the same time, not all were bad.

When I was sixteen, my life made a drastic turn for the worse, and not just in a melodramatic teenage way. Many things went wrong in my life; things no one would want to go wrong. Things people had nightmares about.

Heh, and was always so sure my life would be perfect... shows what I know.


I wasn't the prettiest or the most popular 16 year-old girl you'd ever meet, with my long black hair, blue eyes, and close group of friends. I wasn't the most athletic or the smartest. I wasn't the funniest or the wittiest. I was me, and that was satisfactory enough to make me happy. I had good friends, good family, and good grades. I had a good life.

No one's life is ever perfect from the time they take their first breath, to the time they take their last. My life wasn't always going to be perfect; I knew that, so I was living mine to its fullest.

I wish I had known what was going to ruin my good time.

I had been out with two of my close friends, Danni and Marcy, watching a local band perform at a teen club. We were having a good time, laughing, joking. Around eleven p.m. we went outside to wait for Danni's and Marcy's parents to come pick us up. While waiting, a school acquaintance, Denny Ward, stopped next to us and started a conversation about the bands that had played. I didn't know Denny that well, but I had talked to him a few times and we got along fairly well.

Marcy left first, around 11:15, leaving Danni, Denny, and I to chit-chat until Danni's parents came to pick her and I up. We continued to talk about the band that had performed, allowing our conversation to drift lazily into other topics, basically, whatever we felt like talking about at the moment. At 11:30, Danni started to get a little worried that her parents hadn't shown up. She told me to wait with Denny so she could go call and see if they were still home.

When she was walking away, I could have sworn I saw Denny smirk at me. No, I told myself, that was definitely a smile. I forced a smile at him. He smiled again… or was it a smile? It was definitely starting to look like a smirk.

Denny started inching his way towards me, as the now obvious smirk slowly grew. He leaned close to me and whispered, "I've been waiting for this moment, Rylee."

I frowned in confusion and discomfort. "What moment?" I was starting to get a bad feeling about this whole situation. Being alone with someone I hardly knew at 11:30 at night wasn't something I considered safe.

"A moment for us to be alone… just for a minute or two." He was so close I could feel his hot breath on my face. It made me quiver.

I took a step back. "I'm not sure I know what you're talking about."

He threw his head back and laughed lightly. "Of course you do. You just don't want to admit it." I couldn't think of a response, so I remained silent.

After a few moments of an uncomfortable silence, Danni ran back over to us. She told me her mom completely forgot, and thought my parents were picking us up, and that she wouldn't be able to get there for another half hour.

"That sucks." Denny commented. Danni shrugged.

"You don't have to wait with us!" I almost yelled, wanting to get rid of him. I covered my mouth with my hands as Danni raised an eyebrow at me.

"It's all right, I really don't mind. I haven't got anything else to do." He flashed Danni a charming smile.

I groaned inwardly, hating that he was going to wait with us. That conversation we had had earlier had given me the creeps, and I would have preferred him to have left… but he stayed. He stayed and he flirted with Danni the whole time, Danni flirting right back.

Not even ten minutes later Denny commented that he thought he left his coat in the club, and asked Danni to go check. At the time, I couldn't figure out why on earth he couldn't get it himself. But despite the odd request, she eagerly agreed.

"I'll come with you." I said, not wanting to be alone with Denny a moment longer then I had to.

"Don't be silly," Danni said. "This'll only take me a minute. I'll be right back." She quickly turned and ran in the direction of the club. I closed my eyes, and tried not to think about who was standing next to me.

"Rylee." He whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut tighter. "Rylee." He whispered again. "Look at me, Rylee."

I opened my eyes and jumped back when I saw he was only a few inches away from me. "M-maybe I should go help Danni find your coat, and… and." I trailed off, and turned around and tried moving towards the club. It took me minute to realize why I couldn't move, but I finally noticed Denny had my arm clenched in his fist.

"You're not going anywhere." He hissed.

My eyes widened in horror as I began to panic. "Let me go!"

He smirked. "No. No, I don't think I will." He buried his head in my hair and breathed in deeply. "You smell so good."

What was his problem? Was he teasing me, is that what his problem was? Anger surged through me as I thought about this whole thing being a big joke, just so he could scare me. I yanked my arm from his grasp. "What's your problem?"

"My problem?" He asked, looking slightly startled.

"Yes, your problem. Did I give you some indication that I wanted you to touch me? Because I don't." I glared at him, hoping to emphasize my point.

Once again he threw his head back and laughed lightly. "You just don't get it, do you?"

I glared again. "Get what?"

"I don't care what you want. This is about what I want." He paused, as if to let the information sink in. "And what I want… is you." He grabbed my arms and pulled me roughly to him. "I've wanted you for awhile now." He started rubbing our cheeks together, putting his mouth right next to me ear. "I've been watching you… following you. Why do you think I was here tonight? It certainly wasn't to listen to crappy music."

"Then why would yo-" He cut me off.

"I overheard you talking to one of your stupid friends. Arranging times, transportation, things like that. Don't you remember? That was on Wednesday." He smiled, as if proud of himself for overhearing one of my conversations.

I decided to be daring. "I don't really care what you want."

His eyes flashed and I immediately regretted saying anything. "I thought I already clarified this. I don't give a damn what you want! This is about me! Me, god damn it!" He pulled me flat up against him. "I want you." He murmured. He pressed his lips against mine. After holding there for a good five seconds, he pulled away. "There, all done." He said. The tone he used bothered me. It was the same tone a doctor used after they gave you a shot... and no matter how many shots you get, you always know there will be more.

I stood on spot, stunned. I had not expected that. I looked fearfully up at him, dreading to know what he'd do next. I was surprised when he stepped back from me and put his hands behind his back. Then I noticed Danni running up to us. "What'd I miss?" she asked, out of breath.

"Nothing." I said quickly.

"Sorry, Denny. I couldn't find your jacket. I looked over the whole place twice." She smiled apologetically.

He flashed his charming smile. "It's quite all right." After a few more minutes of conversational flirting between Denny and Danni, Her mom finally pulled up in a blue mini van.

That night I went up in my room and cried. I knew I was being immature about it. Nothing like that had ever happened to me. I felt uncomfortable just sitting their by myself. I kept wondering, why me? It felt so unreal that that actually occurred. But it did, and I was devastated. I didn't know how someone could ever live with themselves after something like that.

I had seen movies where girls were molested, but it always looked funny to me. They always seemed so unlikely and unreal, like it never actually happened the way they depicted it. I would laugh and point saying how I would have handled the situation differently. Of course, I had handled it horribly.

I shook my head in shame. I felt so dirty, and nothing had even happened! I couldn't have imagined what anything else would have been like. I shuddered at the thought of that turning into something more. I was glad it was over.

All I could think was that I wouldn't be like all those girls who didn't tell anyone. They just bottled up their emotions and kept it a secret. I would never been able to do that. I was very emotional and I wore my feelings on my sleeves. Most people could tell what I was feeling at anytime. I was actually pretty well known for blowing things out of proportion.

After an hour of lying in bed, I got up and took a shower, not able to shake the feeling that I had done something dirty. Afterwards I didn't feel a whole lot better, but the shower made me tired so I crawled into bed and fell asleep.


I went back to school on Monday, and I didn't see Denny at all. It made me relax, and I finally came to peace in my mind that that was going to be a one time occurrence. It was the same the rest of the week. He wasn't in any of the classes we had together.

He seemed to have disappeared.

I asked Danni and Marcy if they had seen him lately and Marcy informed me that she heard he was home sick. I had sighed in relief, knowing I didn't have to worry about being watched all the time. The weekend went by and nothing happened… not that I had expected anything to. I had almost gone back to my completely unsuspecting self in under a week.

The following week Denny returned to school. He ignored me like he always used to, and acted as though nothing had happened. In my mind, I had actually begun to doubt that whole event occurring. Maybe it was just my imagination working overtime. Maybe he had been drunk, and doesn't remember it happening. Maybe I should forget it ever happened.

Maybe, said a voice in the back of my head, you should stop making up excuses.

I pushed all thoughts of Denny out of my head, but whenever I saw him, or was in the same room with him, I couldn't help but feel incredibly uncomfortable.

On Thursday, I was sitting in the cafeteria at lunch with my close group of friends, Marcy, Danni, Ryan, Lee, Trent, Angie and Kane. The day had been just like any other, and Denny was pushed into the back of my mind as I enjoyed eating and talking to my friends. That day the topic of conversation was: "Who's hotter?". Of course, Marcy, Danni, Angie and I had long since been left out of the conversation when the guys took over.

"No! Absolutely no way!" Lee said, smashing his fists down on the table. "Rachael is so much hotter than Nikki."

Kane shook his head. "You're all out of your mind. Becca is definitely hotter." He glanced over in her direction and smiled slightly.

"I think Missy kicks some serious ass." Ryan said. "She's got that 'I'm a slut' thing going for her."

"Every girl you like has that 'I'm a slut' thing going for her." Trent said.

"Haven't you guys ever heard the saying 'beauty's only skin deep'?" Angie asked.

"Haven't you ever heard the saying 'shut the hell up, you feminist bitch'?" Kane said, rolling his eyes

Angie's mouth fell open.

"You don't, like, actually believe that guys follow that, do you?" Ryan asked.

"Well," said Angie, "yeah."

All four guys simultaneously burst into laughter. Angie frowned. "What? What's so funny?"

"That's so gay." Lee said, rolling his eyes. "Look, you've got to cut it out with all this feminist crap. It'll never get you anywhere."

Angie glared. "I am not a feminist. I'm simply saying you're being pigs."

"Don't be such a slut, Angie." Kane said.


"Hey, hey now. Calm down." Marcy said, trying to act as a mediator. "No need to call each other names."

"He called me a slut!"

"That's because you called me a pig!"

"That's because you are a pig!"

"Yeah, and you're a slut."

"Is there a problem here, guys?" We all looked up and saw Denny standing behind Marcy. He looked around the table and his eyes set on me. "Hey Rylee."

It felt as though my stomach had fallen into my shoes. "H-h-he-hey Denny." What was he doing at our table?

"Grab a seat, Denny!" Danni said enthusiastically.

"You know Danni, if I didn't know any better I'd say you have a thing for Denny." Trent said, smirking.

"Shut up." She hissed. She scooted away from me to conveniently allow him to have to sit between the two us. Great. Just great.

Denny scooted into the spot next to me. He smiled and set his hands in his lap. "So, I heard you arguing about the hotness of girls."

"Yeah, we were." Lee said. "Now tell me: Who's hotter: Rachael or Nikki?"

"Or Becca." Kane said. He smiled again and glanced over at her. Everyone groaned at his lovesick expression.

"Or Missy!" Ryan added. "Keep in mind Missy's short skirt today." Everyone groaned again, but this time in disgust as we could all see his eyes clouding over.

"Actually," Denny said. "I think someone at this table is quite a looker." He smiled. Lee smashed his fists on the table in exasperation.

Everyone's eyes immediately went to Danni, who giggled and blushed. "Who is it?" She asked.

He smiled, again, and said, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you. Plus, I think she knows who she is." Under the table I felt his hand rest on my upper thigh, and squeeze gently.

My mind started racing as, for the first time that week, I thought about that night.

"I don't really care what you want."

His eyes flashed and I immediately regretted saying anything. "I thought I already clarified this. I don't give a damn what you want! This is about me! Me, god damn it!" He pulled me flat up against him. "I want you." He murmured pressing his lips against mine. After holding there for a good five seconds, he pulled away. "There, all done." He said.

When I snapped out of my trance, I jumped up. "You know, I think I'm going to get a soda. Any takers?" I looked around the table, not expecting anyone to come, but at the same time praying to the gods above that Denny didn't volunteer.

"I'll come, Rylee." Marcy said, standing up. When we had walked not thirty feet from the table, Marcy asked, "Ry, are you ok?"

"Yeah!" I said quickly. "Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be? Why would something be wrong? Nothing's wrong!"

Marcy looked concerned. "Rylee, you're babbling."

"Oh, yeah. I guess I just don't like Denny that much. He's kind of creepy."

Marcy looked at me for a second, as if she knew there was something I wasn't sharing with her. "If you say so." She said shrugging.

A/N: I'm starting to go through all the other chapters and correct grammar and basically make it not suck as much. :D