Chapter One-

Jesse Sills, with the Coffee Mug, in the Nurse's Office

Chase Levine's POV:

The sound of screaming wakes me violently. I roll over and blink blearily at the alarm clock. 5:17 AM. But another scream echoes and I realize it wasn't a nightmare. No, this is my life.

"Devon?" I call into the darkness of the room, looking at his empty bed across from mine. No response comes forth and I scramble out of bed, quickly pulling on a pair of pants, panicking inside about where the hell my little brother is and what the fuck my dad is doing to him, but calm and collected on the outside, as if I'm just getting dressed to go out and get the paper.

A thud comes from the hallway and I stumble to the door, cracking it open. Bright light leaks through the crack, temporarily blinding me. I blink a few times before I see my little brother, Devon, cringing down.

I stand frozen in the doorway as my dad lumbers up to him, and hits him with a coffee mug. I hear the light thunk as it hits him in the brow.

"Daddy, no! Stop it! Help me, Chase" Devon whimpers, holding up his hands to fend off another blow.

"I'm trying to fucking sleep. Knock it off!" I hiss, opening the door wider. My dad looks at me and glares but I don't flinch. I know he won't hit me…well, he hasn't yet…all my fifteen years.

I grit my teeth and walk into the brightly lit hallway, grabbing Devon by his skinny forearm and yanking him back into our room.

Devon cries out as he stumbles into the doorknob and I cringe. Jesus Christ. I shut us into the safe darkness of the room and lightly rub where the doorknob hit as he sniffles and whimpers.

"Sorry…" I mumble to him.

He opens his mouth to say something, but ends up yelping again and grabbing onto my side when the sound of breaking glass comes from outside the room. Well. Another piece of dinnerware broken in the Levine household.

I look back down to Devon. "Get into bed… I'll wake you up for school in about a half hour."

I watch the six year old climb shakily into bed. He stares up at me, hugging his stuffed giraffe, Grace, to his chest. His dark eyes are filled with want and I sigh, walking over to him and kissing his sweaty forehead.

I clamber back into my own bed and look for my own stuffed animal. A mangy looking dog named Howie. Yeah, I'm a fifteen year old with a fucking stuffed dog. How pathetic can I get? Very pathetic actually. But we'll save that for another time. I could go on for a very long time.

I squeeze my eyes shut tight and try to block out the muffled cussing of my dad who's still on a rampage in our tiny house.

Who knows what set him off this time. The littlest things can do it. If someone puts a dish in the wrong spot in the cupboard or if his favorite football team plays like shit. I like to just pretend he's schizophrenic so that I can excuse it.

It wasn't always this way. It stared up when I was nine.

Jesus! I don't want to think about this right now! And my pants are fucking sticking to my legs like they're nylons. I kick them off and bury my face beneath my pillow.

Just a half hour till school…

It's not until my alarm clock buzzes that I remember school isn't any fucking better.

-

"Chase!" Someone calls my name and I look around…there…a group of guys from my class congregating in the entryway to the school. "Why do you look so tired? Too much gay sex last night?"

I glare at them before staring down at my feet and flipping them off.

The entryway feels hot and my cheeks feel hotter. Assholes. Sad thing is…they used to be my friends.

All through junior high and most of freshman year, we were all really close friends…until they started getting into drugs and shit and I was too fucking poor to afford it… And not to mention the fact that I feel the need to hurry home everyday after school to make sure Devon and my mom are safe from my dad.

"What's wrong?" one of them calls. Jesse Sills. Rich boy extraordinaire. See him flip his perfect length perfect straw blonde hair and flash a perfect white tooth smile as he stands in his perfectly made designer clothes. "Why aren't you saying anything? Know we're right?"

"Just fuck off," I snarl, pissed beyond reason…not only because of their asshole-like tendencies, but also because I can't think of any good comebacks to throw their way.

I stomp off down the hall to my locker and throw my worn-out backpack on the polished floor. I glance down towards the entryway to check if Jesse and his cronies decided to follow me to harass me more. The combination on my lock keeps sticking and it won't unlock. I hate this lock. It never works and it always makes me late for class. Finally it goes and the annoyingly shrill bell rings above my head causing me to jump in my semi-catatonic state. Great…late for class again.

I throw my books into my backpack and skid down the next hall towards my first period, History. Good I can sleep in that class and get away with it. I walk into the room and take my seat in the back corner furthest away from the teacher. He never notices when I'm asleep…or when I'm awake for that matter.

It's like that with a lot of people. I'm easy to overlook and I like it that way. With my dyed black hair and my small frame, I'm ignored quite often as being the "different kid".

But a spit wad abruptly hits me in the side of the head making me wish I was invisible instead of just being a sometimes noticed kid. I look to my right to see who did it. It was one of the many cronies that hang out with Jesse. I hate them so much. I never did anything to them. At least I don't think that I did.

I feel sick. The sudden urge to throw up the emptiness of my stomach makes me drowsier than I was five minutes ago. Maybe if I throw up I could go home and make sure that dad isn't beating the hell out of mom with something. Or maybe they would let me go to the nurse's office so I could sleep for the rest of the day. Before I can decide which one is better, I lean over my desk and retch but nothing comes up because I skipped breakfast so I could get Devon to school on time. I have to walk Devon to school every morning to make sure that he gets there safely.

"Mr. Levine. What are you doing?" the teacher asks in a monotone voice.

"Um…I need to go to the nurse's office please. I feel sick and I think that I'm going to throw up," I reply. He excuses me and I grab my things and leave. Good now I can get some real sleep.

-

I open my eyes, momentarily forgetting where I am. Wait. The nurse's office. Okay.

I sit up and look around the dark room. I should've gone home. I shouldn't be here. I need to protect mom.

My feet land on the tile floor and I slap my way over to the door. Where are my shoes? I stumble out of the room and the nurse looks up at me startled.

"Where are my shoes? I need to get home…" I babble.

"Maybe you should lie back down…" she murmurs, looking slightly annoyed.

"No…you don't understand. I need my fucking shoes!" I hate this. The way I get so panicky. I'm a fifteen year old kid. The biggest thing I should be worrying about is who I should take to a dance or about my Chemistry test coming up. Not about my mom and little brother's lives.

The nurse sighs and points across the room where my holey shoes are shoved against the wall. I run to them and slip them on before bursting from the room and taking off running down the empty halls. The clock on the wall says it's lunch.

Good. I can leave without any shit.

And just as I think that…my steps falter as a foot suddenly plunges out as I exit the school and I stumble down the stairs, landing on my hands and knees, feeling concrete biting through my jeans and into the heels of my palms.

"Fucking Christ!" I hiss through clenched teeth. I'm fighting to keep tears into my eyes. I do not cry. I can't cry. Chase does not cry.

This goes through my head as I pull myself up to my feet and slowly turn around to see Jesse and two other guys from the group standing at the top of the steps, laughing.

"Hey, dumb fuck. Where're you going?" asks one of the two. "Got to get to your job? Which corner are you occupying now, eh?"

Jesse sneers at me, sauntering down the steps. "Get back on your hands and knees, bitch. I bet you hear that often."

"Oh, fuck off!" My hands, eyes, and knees are burning, mind whirring. I want to get out of here but I'm not a coward. Not anymore. The past six years have taught me that cowards don't make it. I won't just turn and run.

Jesse descends till he's off the steps and only a foot from me.

"You're a useless piece of shit," he growls, his pretty face contorting into something almost scary. "You, queer, need to be gotten rid of."

"I…I'm not a fucking queer and what do you mean by that? Gotten rid of?" The fear is making me ask. It's making my voice shake and it's making me sound like a fucking idiot.

"Shall I demonstrate?" he asks, a twisted grin on his lips. And with that he brings back his fist… I close my eyes and wait for the pain that comes seconds later.

A/N: YAY!

SerialXLain says: We planned this in about an hour in the pond… (sort of planned it…sort of… XD)

omg-wtf says: Hey look! I don't know what to say! But yeah we weren't really 'planning'

So eat cake, drink beer, and if you'd like (I know we'd like it) you should leave a review

Mucho lovin' baby.