She was tired . For 2 hours she worked in the library , looking for datas for the comics she was drawing ,after that she met her friends and they saw a comedy. But she wasn't paying any attention anyway ,she wondered if anyone did even noticed she left her seat about 5 or 6 times and yondered buying junk food and sitting in the toilet , sketching. Not like she paid for her ticket anyway.She was so anti-comedies that one of theme offered to pay for her ticket.

She gave a look at the car's clock.It was almost eight.Quite probable she'll be in trouble when she gets home, she didn't came back home all day and she left at about 9 in the morning.She had fun....ate pizza , drank beer and Coke. Now David , the older brother of one of her friends was driving theme all back home.

She showed him the house and he stopped at about four houses away.She told him she had to go to another friend at one of those houses, but the thing was that her dad would of gone crazy if he'd saw her in a stranger's car.

She waved theme good bye and headed towards the suburban house where all lights were already on , and, from the garage she could see the front of a dark brown Cobra Mercedes.Jason was home already.

She unlocked the door and entered,leaving her sports shoes in different corners of the hallway as she threw theme from her feet with disgust.

"It's me !" She said with a dry voice. Everytime she stepped into that house she felt sick , angry and pissed off, with an ocassional headache.Above the house was a very very black cloud, she was sure.

Her father told her she has food in the kitchen.They knew she was not going to eat anything her step mother cooked.

"Is Jason home already ? " She screamed from the kitchen while eating an apple.

" The asshole is upstairs." her father replied while changing channels from football to news.

Asshole meant Jason did something wrong.She hurried up on the stairs but her father's voice stopped her:

" Aunt Maryanne is waiting us,get in the car."

"What ? I don't wanna go ! "

" Yes you will !" Her father replied getting out of the room , dressed in shorts and a blue T-shirt.

" No I won't ! I hate it there !"

" Fucking move into the car !" He screamed.

She had the animal instinct to jump on him and bite his face off.Or curse.

She exited the house and entered the car.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tic-Tac-Tic-Tac

The pendulum on the hallway was his only companion during those 6 hours he stood alone in the room. His father told him his mother had a big mouth and he inharited the bad habit of speaking too much and bad from her.

He shook his head and threw the book he was reading on the bed and looked outside.The car was just parking in the garage. He heard a door slamming , but the car didn't stopped. His muscles tensed as he saw the young brunette jumping from the moving car , collapsing on the cement , rising again and running in the house. The man inside screamed something after her.

Doors slammed all around the house, a girl's scream , and someone running up the stairs.

He opened the door fast , caught her by the arm and into his room, pushing her behind the door.

" What happened dad ? " He asked , like he just opened the door.

" Your fucking sister, embarassing me everywhere we go! Stay the fuck in your room ! " he pushed him ,and hit Cassandra's door witch was locked." You'll come out tomorrow and we'll have a long talk about this ,brat ! " And he left .

He could hear Penelope's whines , telling him he wasn't supposed to take care of such ungrateful children and that they should go to hell along with their mother. Funny thing , she was always nice when she talked with them about their mother...

He closed the door and behind it was Cassandra ,with her back against the wall.

" Thanks......"

" Don't mention it. What happened ? "

" He said something bad about mom and I kinda cursed in front of everyone."

" Kind of ? "

" I called him an egocentrist motherfucker."

" Egocentrist?Nice......" He replied sitting next to her .

" What did you do ? He called you an asshole earlier."

" He picked on me because I broke a plate.He was drunk."

She looked at him. In the room the light was dim, only some light from outside coming in trough the window.Light shadows coming from the cars that passed on the road were dancing on Jason's face.

"What the...." She approached his face more.On his cheek and on a part of his eyes was a darker shadow.

He pushed her hands away , she slapped theme , examining closer.

"Oh my god...." She finally gasped and hugged him.

A fresh bruise.

"I'm okay....really,I am."

" We have to get out of here. Fast."

" I told you. As soon as I get a job ,we'll move in an apartment.Didn't I promised that to you ? "

" Shut up already Jason.There's a long time until that happens.And you know it." She said braking the embrace."Until then....we'll wait."

He nodded.

Silence. Some voices downstairs.fading away as they walked into another room.

"J. , can I sleep here tonight ? Not like I'm afraid of dad or anything."

"Sure." He smiled." I have a bottle of dry gin under my bed.Care to join me ?"He said rising and heading to the bed, taking out from under it a small bottle.

"I'll worship you like a god if you give me a sip." She replied , sitting with her back against the bed.

No talking was needed. The nights when they stood in the same room, conforting each other after fights that lasted hours or after punches or pushes were countless. He only used to hit Cassandra very rare , she only got about 2 slaps , but for her the fights were endless.Jason always had to take the bruises. They were different yet the same.Jason was small for his age , he had about 1.67 ,just like Cassandra who was 16, and he was easy to push around , especially by their father who was 1.90 and weighted twice as they did. Jason rarely responded to his fights or curses,he preffered to just let him flow his anger and he would finally leave him alone. Cassandra responded ,she fought back,angry,she struggeled ,she screamed and she hit back.But he was the one that noticed she was more afraid than he was , when everything chilled down, late at nights in her room , she was crying.

Cassandra listened and watched.The noises were down , lights were off. She opened the door silently.

" What are you doing?!"

" Shhhh!! I'll be right back !" She said and disappeared trough the darkness of the hallway and down on the stairs.

Silent like a thief she walked until she entered the kitchen, opening the fridge and pouring some ice in her hand and a can of Coke in her pocket.

It was amazing how so many things could happen in one day. She waited impatiently the whole day to see him again , to bring her good news.Nothing. Her world resumed to downtown and the walls of the house. At least she was with him.

She didn't admited, not even to herself , she had a huge crush on him ever since she turned 12 and could think properly about what was going on with her looking after him on the hallways of the school ,taking his part in everything , wether it was right or wrong. She shook her head and hit herself with the fist filled with ice cubes.She was supposed to get over it . A stupid childish mistake , wasn't it ? Wake up from dreaming Cassandra.Even if, he could never like a freak like you.You don't even look like a girl,remember how many times people mistook you for a boy ? You don't even believe in love anyway.

The pendulum was lughing into her face. She ignored it and entered the dark room.

" I got some ice for the bruise."

"Thanks."

She wrapped the ice in a T-Shirt and pressed it on his face.

" Ow ! Go easy on me girl ! I'm in pain !"

She laughed.

Her obsession was eating her inside,especially being close to him again.

" I got the Coke in case you have to stay late again doing whatever you do with those work things. I'm sleepy . "

He nodded and got off the bed, taking the covers away so she could get in.

" Don't wanna take those clothes off you ? "

" I'm okay , I washed theme this morning , they're clean."

She pulled the covers on herself and closed her eyes.She was dizzy from the gin and sleepy.Drifting away. He sat next to her with his back on a pillow and the ice on his cheek. It was not the first time they were sleeping in the same bed. As brothers they shared the bed many times in camps, trips, at relatives , in nights like this when they were either too afraid to stay alone , either just needed someone who knew how it feels next. Tonight is supposed to be just like any of those nights.

Cassandra suspected it was because of the tiredness and the drink.

She rose sudden from the bed and she stood in front of him .

Everyone hates you anyway Cassandra , mother , father , your friends think you're a wierdo.Just go with it.

" Cass ? "he asked.

But you don't have to ruin everything.

" I......"

Everyone else hates you anyway.

" I wanna tell you something ,I have to, you're gonna hate me ,but I honestly don't care because it's too fucking hard to keep it in.Afterwards ask me to leave and I will....."

"Cass , you okay ?"

Everyone else.

" I...I like you , a lot, I don't think I love you because I don't belive in love , just like in a different way than a sister should so I said it and now I'll go , but only after you say to me that you hate me."

Silence.

The pendulum was ticking louder than ever ,laughing at her.

She saw his shadow putting something white on the bed. The T-Shirt with the ice cubes. His dark figure almost made her take a step back ,but she stood her ground as much as she could. She knew he was looking at her and his eyes seemed to pierce right trough her.

He leaned in front and kissed her.