Taylor quietly made her way out of the front door. Not that it would matter if she wasn't quiet anyway; her parents were in the other room fighting. As she was slipping out the door she heard the hit that would probably quiet her Mother's yelling for the night. She shut the door behind her and started walking to the street. About halfway down the driveway Jared materialized out of the air. She jumped.

"Oh my God! Jared, you fing jerk. Don't do that!" He laughed.

"Sorry. Must've been bad tonight if I made you jump." She ignored his comment.

"You got a light?"

"I'm not letting you smoke." He said seriously.

"Hypocrite."

"I totally am. Now let's go."

Taylor hesitated for only a second before beginning to follow him, but he still saw.

"Don't worry about her. She's a big girl. She can take care of herself."

"Sometimes, I'm just not so sure."

"She'll be fine. I promise."

-

Taylor opened the front door slowly and motioned for Jared to come in, then quietly shut the door behind them. He began to walk to her room as she went into the kitchen. He heard her gasp and turned to walk into the kitchen instead. He has just barely made it into the kitchen before Taylor began to whisper.

"No. No. You promised me. No."

She began yelling.

"You promised me! You promised me! No! No! No! No! No! You promised!"

Jared looked at the body on the floor. Her Mom was there, covered in blood. She had tons of scrapes, cuts, and bruises everywhere.

"Tay. Let's call an ambulance."

"You promised me. You promised."

She turned to look at him. He could see the tears in her eyes that she was holding back.

"Tay, Where's the phone?"

She looked at him as she pointed to the counter. Jared picked up the phone and began to dial.

-

Taylor was pacing the waiting room. Every time Jared would try and calm her down she glared at him accusingly.

"Taylor. I'm sorry. I didn't know."

"But you promised. I knew something would happen tonight. It's all my fault. If I was there-" He cut her off.

"If you were there you would be lying on your kitchen floor bleeding with your Mother. Both of you would've gotten hurt."

"I should've protected her! She's my responsibility."

"You're the daughter. Not her!"

"But-" He cut her off.

"No Tay. No buts this time. It isn't your fault. And it isn't hers or mine or anybody's but your Dad's."

"He is not my Dad."

"Your step-Dad then." That's when they were interrupted.

"Excuse me."

They both turned to see a doctor standing there looking at them.

"She's pretty banged up. But she should be just fine. May I ask what happened?"

"She was attacked."

"By who exactly?"

"I don't know."

The doctor gave her a look that said 'I was standing here. I know.'

"Look, I wasn't there. I can't tell you."

"She was asking for somebody. A David."

"Where is she? I'm her daughter."

"Room 248."

Taylor stormed down the hallway.

"What is wrong with you?!"

She began to yell as soon as she got into the room. Her Mom just looked at her.

"You asked for him!"

Her mom blinked at her.

"I love him. Of course I asked for him."

"What the f is wrong with you?! He nearly killed you Mom."

"Honey-"

"No. I'm done. I'm gone. I'm out. He can kill you but he's not killing me. I'll stay at Jared's."

"I'll see you later honey."

Taylor nearly ran out of the hospital. It was pouring outside and she struggled to light a cigarette with shaking hands. Just as she was about to throw both the cigarette and the lighter on the ground and give up someone took them from her. She looked up to see Jared. He lit the cigarette and handed it to her. She drew in deeply and exhaled.

"Thanks." She said in barely a whisper.

"No problem. So I hear you need a place to stay." He said just as quietly. She almost smirked.

"Yeah. Are you offering?"

"Always."

-

Taylor's day at school the next day was how it always is. She walked to school with Jared. Smoked with her friends outside the building before homeroom. And was questioned about her latest injury.

"How'd you get the black eye this time Tay?" The first thing she heard from JT.

"Got punched."

And then at the same time as Matt asked,

"Who was it?" JT asked,

"Did you kick their ass?"

"I totally flipped. And I don't think it's anyone you know."

"Does she regret it?" Was the next thing Matt asked.

"It wasn't a she. And I doubt it."

"Hey Taylor." A voice called from the corner. She sneered.

"Dom. What a surprise."

"So tell us Taylor. Why don't we ever get a real answer from you?"

"You always get an answer Dom." She smiled sweetly.

"They're always half-ass answers. Sweetheart."

"They're always stupid questions, baby."

"Let's play a game." Dom smirked.

Everyone but Taylor murmured their agreement.

"We all ask questions and we all answer 100 truthfully." Taylor and Dom both knew no one else would be involved in the game.

"I ask first!" Taylor called out.

"Go ahead."

"Okay, Dom. What happened to your mother?"

Dom glared at her. Taylor knew it was the worst question she could've asked.

"She left. Taylor, Who gave you that black eye?"

She looked him in the eyes.

"My father. Dom, who was the first person you ever punched?"

"My sister. Who'd you lose your virginity to?" Taylor glared.

"That's low Dom. Real low. Even for you. You know what happened."

"Answer the question."

"It doesn't count Dom. And you know it."

"Answer the question."

"I was raped Dom. It didn't count. I'm still a virgin." Her voice became louder at her last sentence.

"Answer the question." He said forcefully.

"Dom-" He cut her off.

"Answer it!"

"You brother." She said quietly.

She dropped her cigarette, stepped on it, and walked away. Jared glared at Dom before following her.

-

Dom showed up again in Taylor's day at lunch. She turned and was about to leave when Dom grabbed her arm.

"Look Tay, I'm sorry." She didn't say anything.

"Look, I apologized. What more do you want?"

"I want your brother to get in trouble for what he did. I want your Dad to get in trouble. You know David. Right? The one who left your family for my Mom."

"Shut up will you."

"Dom, do you think I don't know the first person you punched. That I don't know why you showed up that day completely fcked up and looking like crap."

"Shut up." He growled.

"I know everything."

"Shut up."

"Why?"

"You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what it's like. You have no fcking clue." He said venomously.

"Try me Dom."

"My Mom left. Deserted me with a screwed up older brother and a young kid."

"My Mom's off in la-la land and is slowly killing herself. Leaving me alone with a man who takes fun in beating the shit out of me."

"He used to beat the shit out of me too you know."

"But he doesn't anymore!" She nearly yelling.

"Oh yeah. I think I could beat all."

"Really?"

"Yeah I do. Remember that older brother of mine."

"You mean the one who raped me."

"Yeah. Him. He beats the shit out of me now."

"Why?" He shrugged.

"Does it really matter?"

"Yeah. It does."

"Because I stood up for you."

"You what?" She asked shocked.

"I told him off. I was gonna report it."

"You-"

"Me. Yes me. I was gonna help you."

"Why?" She was speaking softly now.

"Because- I don't know."

"Why?"

"I don't know. I just felt like I had to."