CHAPTER WARNING: I must be seriously screwed up in the head to think up these characters and actually enjoy putting them in awkward situations. That's just cruel and unusual punishment for these – already – tormented souls. (smiles) Yay for being heartless!

italics – Thoughts
bold – Memory
bold/italic - Voices

POV: Xin
"Xin, what are you doing?"

I don't want to do this! North doesn't want me to!

Of course he wants you to. This scheming devil doesn't want anything else from you, so of course he wants your body.

That doesn't mean I have to give it to him!

The voice chuckles. Of course you do. If you don't, he may contact the police. You know what that little mess will lead to. Do you really want to go back to that? Compared to that, wouldn't you love to suck this beautiful boy off?

I shrink away from the voice. Even so...

Just get it over with. Once it's over, you can eat their dinner, and when all the lying tricksters are asleep, we can leave this backwater town. Doesn't that sound nice?

"North, close your eyes." That's a good boy, the voice encourages before fading to the back of my mind.

"I don't think so," North says forcefully.

"Please..."

He must hear something in my voice, because he slowly closes his eyes.

Ignoring the uproar in my head and the tumult in my heart, I lean forward and press my lips to North's. He's so warm...

I'm confused when he doesn't respond. Maybe he doesn't want to be the one in control. Gently, I trail kisses down his neck and settle my hands on his waist, pressing my fingers into his soft skin. Still, he doesn't respond.

This doesn't make any sense. If he wants this, than why isn't he doing anything? I glance up, noticing his eyes are still tightly shut. Experimentally, I run my hands across his bare chest, pushing his red coat open further. His breath hitches and I sigh. Finally. I was scared I was doing something wrong.

I make my way back to his mouth, but he doesn't kiss me back. Frustrated, I rock my hips forward. North's eyes fly open and I see absolute shock reflected in his tawny eyes. When I pull back, he quickly shoves me to the side and jumps off the bed. He turns towards me and backs away until he hits the wall by the door. "What the hell do you think you're doing Xin?" he demands furiously.

"I-Isn't this w-what you wanted?"

Collecting himself, North shuts the door, but doesn't come back to the bed. "I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I wanted to sleep with you, but that isn't the case. All I wanted was to be nice to you after seeing those bastards chase you down. People don't deserve to be treated that way."

Desperately, I try to read anything from his stoic face. He really didn't want anything from me. So what I just did...

I'd say this boy is disgusted with you. Poor North... Being pleasured by a stranger must not be his cup of tea. He's probably going to call the cops and scream, "Rape!" Or at the very least say something about sexual assault.

No! "North, please don't call the cops!"

"What?"

I fling myself off the bed and grab onto his coat on the verge of hysterics. "Please! If they get a hold of me they'll send me home. I can't go back there, not yet!"

"Shh," he hushes me. Uncertainly, he reaches out his hands, but pauses.

Catching on, I nod. "I think its okay."

North wraps his arms around me and says, "You don't have to worry about the people in this house, Xin. None of us will intentionally hurt you. All we want to do is make you better." He pulls back slightly and wipes the tears off my face. "Think of this house as separate from the rest of the world. Here, you get to start over."

Are you going to believe this ridiculous crap? Why on earth would this healthy, happy kid want you to have a better life? It can't be true.

Will you just shut up for a change? I ask the voice severely. I want to stay here.

How could this place be appealing to you?

I study North's slender face with his smeared black lipstick and observant eyes. He's the reason I want to stay. I'm well aware of the fact that he's essentially a stranger, but he hasn't once lied to me.

Fine, we'll stay here for as long as he'll let us. However, if he turns out to be lying, I get to have fun with him.

I'm willing to take that chance. I pull away from North's comforting hands. "Your makeup is smeared."

He smirks and opens the door. "We should both fix our appearances before my mom calls us for dinner."

"You're not going to tell her?" I ask in amazement.

"I don't see why I should." He shrugs and walks into the bathroom across the hall. This one is also stark white, but there are purple accents spread throughout the room. "We can consider it an embarrassing secret between two friends forced together by terrible and rather awkward events. Is that okay with you?" North asks as he hands me a lavender washcloth.

"Okay." I look in the mirror and can't stop myself from giggling a little.

I have black lipstick smeared on and around my mouth.

Quickly, I wipe my face clean and watch North scrub all his makeup off. When he dries off his face, I'm amazed by how much younger he looks. When I first saw him, he looked like he was twenty, not sixteen.

"Do I really look that bad without my mask on?" he jokingly asks.

"No."

He smirks and is about to say something when Rose yells, "Dinner!"

Winking, North says, "Well, I suppose the exciting part of the evening is officially over."

My face heats up and I follow him back downstairs like a loyal dog. I can't believe he got over me grinding against him so suddenly. He's unbelievably resilient.

Yeah, and if his personality is any indication to his performance in the bedroom... Woof!

For the rest of the night, I need you to be quiet. Can you please do that?

I don't know. Maybe, but I don't really want to. Maybe I feel like talking about old times?

Frowning, I watch North's back. What will it take to get you to be quiet?

Are you willing to bribe me? My, this is important. There's a moment of silence before the voice says, I know what you can do for me. You can promise me that we won't stay in that horrendous bedroom tonight. It's an eyesore.

Deal! I concede as we turn into – what I assume to be – the dining room. The food spread across the mahogany table makes my whole body ache. This could be the closest I've ever been to Heaven.

Read, review and I hope you enjoyed!

-DevilDragon of Pain

SHOUT OUTS:

tleiaxu – Thank you so much for the glowing review and the criticism. It's always great to hear from new readers. You were completely right about letting their actions speak for themselves. I went back and altered - or outright deleted - some of the lines in the last section. I appreciate it when people will tell me where I'm screwing up in my writing. It can only help me and the story in the long run. I hope to hear more from you.

blackrose214 – Sorry about the cliffhanger. Sometimes it can't be helped. Wow. I haven't gotten a long review like that in a long time. I love knowing what people liked best in the updates. It gives me an idea of what they're interested in. This update was pretty damn quick compared to my usual schedule, so don't get used to it.

Chris-no-Baka – Of course you're insane! If you weren't, you probably wouldn't be reading my stories. North definitely has his work cut out for him. It may not seem that way at the end of this section, but you've read Falling Deep, Slipping Down. You already know what Xin's ailments are. You just don't know the cause of them...

gothicHobbit08 – Sweet, simple and to the point. I'm glad to know you like my story and that it makes you squeal.

Kizuna – I do consider this one of my best stories I've ever started writing. My style of writing here is a bit different from FDSD, but it's harder to write. It's hard because I want to write Xin the same way I do in FDSD, but that can't be because there's about a ten year difference between the beginning of this story and the beginning of the other one. (weeps) Thank you for letting me vent about trivial matters.

Love Eternally – Definitely poor Xin. North is a really well-adjusted teenager, that's the only reason he's able to keep a level head after what Xin does to him. Or at least appear to have a level head.

TEASER: (Chapter Two: Section One – Start This Game Over Again) Xin has allowed himself to extend trust towards another human being, but will he be able to stay after meeting Quinton? Xin still has a long way to go before he'll be healthy again. The Silver Skies are looking pretty hazy in the next update.