"Touching" is my first ever fiction press. Though it isn't the first story I've written. I had an account on fan fic that I used regularly but other story ideas just popped into my head. So just read through the full summary and I hope you enjoy it!

FULL SUMMARY: Jacey Hamilton has a disability, or so her Mother calls it. Not that her Mother is really much of a Mother anyway, but that's a whole different story. Something happened to Jacey, something bad, that turned her whole world upside down. She wasn't the happy, beautiful girl that ever one admired anymore. Instead she was withdrawn, giving fake smiles, and couldn't stand to be touched by anyone, except her older brother. But now at a new school filled with strangers that no nothing about her "disabilitly" life get's hard. How is she supposed to explain to her new friends what happened when she can barely even stomach to think about it herself. And what about Chris? The beautiful boy that could barely manage a smile and spent most of his time insulting her and everybody that got close to him. With her Mom always gone, and her brother back in college, what is exactly is a girl like Jacey supposed to do? How can she pretend it's okay when her 'episodes' and dreams threaten to swallow her whole.

Chapter one- First Day.

"Jacey, I don't understand why you-"

"Mother, let it go."

I turn my back towards her to walk away, only to be stopped as she grips my wrist tightly turning me to face her.

"Don't touch me!" I scream, ripping my wrist away from her grip and backing up as far as I could. I didn't do that kind oftouching. She knows I don't.

She looked instantly horrified and took a step closer. I took three steps back. "Jacey, I'm so sorry. I didn't even-"

But it was a lie, she wasn't sorry. I knew she wasn't.

I was breathing heavy now, past the point of simply losing my breath. My Mom noticed it too. Her eyes got alarmed and she tried to move towards me again, but I recoiled.

"Don't!" I gasp loudly.

She doesn't care. She never did.

I wrap my arms around myself tightly, trying to hold myself together as the pain in my chest threatens to rip me apart. I was sobbing now too and in a minute or two I knew I would pass out. I always did and it made me feel better knowing that soon it would be over. The hardest part was, actually waiting for it to happen.

XX

"Jacey?" A distant voice asks.

I groan and roll over.

"Jacey, sweetheart?" The sound that I now recognize as my mother's voice brings me out of my sleep.

I open my eyes and blink at the change in light, squinting my eyes slightly.

Mom was peering down at me nervously, her hand out stretched like she wanted to touch me, but she didn't, instead she let it drop back to her side.

"Mom?"

Her pale face looks instantly relieved. "Oh honey." She breathes. "You're okay."

I don't make a sarcastic comment about how I usually am okay after this. It sure as hell isn't the first time it's happened, so I can't really see why she gets so worked up anymore. To be honest I don't know why she gets worked up at all. She's hardly ever home, and it's not like she's here for most of my "episode's" anyway.

"Yeah." I tell her slowly. "I am."

She takes a step back and allows me to sit up. It was then that I noticed I was in my own bed and I wondered suddenly how I got there.

"Jem, picked you up."

I look up at my mother alarmed.

"He won't hurt you baby." She tells me.

I shiver. That doesn't exactly reassure me. I mean I had no reason not to trust him; I just didn't like people touching me, unless it had to do with, well sex. And this was my Mom's fiancé. We moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts for him. He provided us with this big house, a lot of money, and even a nice private school for me, with a great softball team, Mom had reassured me. Softball was the only thing that kept me sane these days.

"Mom could you just, I don't know- give me some space?" She looks upset, but it's all a show. "Please?"

Reluctantly she nods and with a quick smile she moves out of my room, shutting the door softly behind her. I run a hand quickly through my short blonde hair and grimace as the dampness touches my finger tips.

I stand and start walking towards my private bathroom, stripping my damp clothes off as I do. I try not to look in the mirror to long, but instead turn my head away and step into the warm water. Even though I was sweating the hot water felt amazing on my skin. I sat in there longer than intended and washed my skin until it was red and raw.

After getting dressed into my pajamas I walk over to my large bed, not even hesitating to slip under the sheets. Unconsciously I grab my wrist, the spot where my mom touched me. It's not that I didn't like being touched, well I really don't, but honestly sometimes being touched calmed me down. The reason I had an "episode" was because of the person touching me and the way she touched me. I didn't handle being man-handled, not in the least. Not after-

I shake my head and run my fingers through my hair again. Why did I always have to think about that? It was over now. He was gone, far, far, away and I was here. He could never touch me again.

I gripped the spot on my wrist so tightly that my knuckles turned white. Why? Why?

"Jace!" My door opened and my brother walked in but I still didn't let up on my wrist, or even look up at him. I felt my eyes glaze over.

"Jace!" He yells again, this time gripping my shoulders and shaking me.

I heard him trying to talk to me, but I couldn't make myself talk back, or even move. I was stuck.

"Jacey." He tries again. "Dammit Jacey, talk to me."

And just like that it was over. I blinked my eyes and stared right into his emerald green ones.

"Would you knock that off?" He demands, his breathing labored.

I must have scared him.

"Sorry." I mumble.

He shakes his head and scoots on the bed next to me.

"What happened?" He asks eventually.

"She touched me."

"She as in?"

"Mom." I clarify. "She touched me."

He puts his head in his hands. "Dammit, Jacey."

"I don't like being touched by her." I tell him.

He looks up at me his eyes boring into mine. "You don't like being touched by anyone. Not by Jem, your old friends, Mom, or any of our family, and especially not by people you don't know."

"I let you touch me."

He nods his head slowly. "And there is a reason for that. And if you would just agree to go get some help then-"

"No." I say, shaking my head quickly. "No!"

"Jacey I-"

"You promised!" I yell at him. "You told me you wouldn't make me do that. You said you'd leave it alone-"

"How can I leave it alone?" He explodes. "My little sister can't stand to be touched by anyone but me. And when she does I have to worry about whether or not to take her to the hospital. You have panic attacks, Jace. It's not alright. You can't live like this."

"I let other people touch me." I admit slowly.

"Yeah when you fuck them!"

My eyes open widely.

"Oh don't be so surprised. You think I didn't hear locker room talk?" He demands. Then he shakes his head. "Be honest with me Jacey, have you ever let anyone hug you, since- since it happened?"

I couldn't be anything but honest with him, but I would never admit that out loud. So he took my silence for an answer.

"I'm just saying. You're in a new school, hell even a new state. Maybe it's time to start over."

He seemed to calm down a bit.

"D-"

"No." He shakes his head and turns towards me, gripping my small shoulders in his much larger hands. "Honey, it's time to get over what happened. It's been months."

"But it had been going on for months." I correct him.

He grimaces and closes his eyes as if he's in pain.

"You're going to be okay here." He tells me confidently. "New school tomorrow, no one here knows anything about your past. It's a blank slate. Don't'- Don't mess it up."

I nod my head.

"Go in there, play softball, and for God's sake let people get close to you. No one is going to hurt you. Not again."

I close my eyes suddenly feeling very exhausted.

"That's right, go to sleep."

Instead I open my eyes again and look at him.

"But you won't be here when I wake up."

He turns his head away.

"I don't want to leave you Jace but-"

"I want you here, Damon, I do. But I will never let you miss out on an amazing college with a full baseball scholarship to stay home and take care of your psycho sister."

"You're not a psycho." He corrects. "You just have some issues. If you need me I'll drive like hell to get back okay? Call me anytime you need me."

I nod my head and he hugs me tightly. "I love you, Jacey."

"I love you, too."

He pushes me back on the bed and lies down next to me, and we lay shoulder to shoulder just like we've been doing for years.

"Now get some sleep."

Instead of answering I close my eyes, it doesn't take me long to fall asleep and when I do I dream of empty forests and never ending paths that send chills up my spine.

XX

When I woke up, true to his word Damon wasn't there. I couldn't press down the tight feeling in my chest. I missed him already. But I was done being selfish. He needed to go to school and get a great education. My brother had a lot going for him and he wasn't going to be stuck behind with his sister who couldn't even stand touching people. He needed to be around healthy people, whole people.

Eventually I decided to move out of my bed seeing as school started in only a half hour and began dressing in my uniform. The school uniform was the same for everyone. The girls wore plaid skirts with the school colors grey, blue, white, and black. Add a black cardigan or a black hoodie and you were good to go. And oh who could forget that plaid tie, which matched the skirt to a tee? Shoes, thankfully you could wear whatever you wanted. And seeing as it was starting to get warmer with softball season coming in only a few days, I choose to wear a pair of black ballet flats.

I didn't really spend much time on my hair. There was nothing really to do to it. It was short and blonde, with choppy layers. And I especially didn't put on any make-up. I never really wore make-up anymore so it didn't matter.

I glanced back in the mirror once more quickly before deciding I was as ready as I'd ever be. I jogged down the stairs quickly and walked into the kitchen. I wasn't hungry but I could use a hot tea or something. Instead a note on the refrigerator caught my eye.

Jacey,

Jem and I were called away late last night for a business trip to Tokyo. I know it's your first day of school and I'm sorry I'm missing it but it was really urgent and I needed to be here. I'm not sure exactly when I'll get back, but probably sometime next month. A lot of bad stuff went down here with the company and I need to put it back in order. Have a great first day.

-Mom.

A month? Tokyo? Was she fucking kidding me? I guess I shouldn't really be surprised, I knew her staying home so much was going to end. Especially because her daughter is so much of an embarrassment. I read through the note once more before ripping it into a million tiny little pieces and throwing it in the trash. Then without my tea, I grab my bag and car keys and head off to school.

Forest Hill Preparatory school sat right dead center in the middle of nowhere. It was large, probably bigger than an elementary school and middle school combined and it was old looking. Sort of gothic and to be honest it was alluring.

I didn't hesitate to stop my car and walk through the front doors. No one was really here yet anyway, seeing as I was a little early so I headed right towards the offices which happened to be on the left of the front doors.

"Excuse me?"

The secretary looked up at the sound of my voice. She was an older woman with pretty blue eyes and she wore an outfit of beautiful silk. Damn, was everyone this rich?

"Hello." She greets, smiling brightly. "May I help you?"

"Uh Mrs-"

"Mrs. Sanders."

I nod my head.

"Right, Mrs. Sanders. My name is Jacey Hamilton I'm a new student-"

"Oh right!" She stands up quickly and starts digging through a pile of papers.

"Headmaster Richards told me all about you." She says off handedly as she searches through papers.

Now I'm starting to wonder just what she was told. From what my brother said, he and my mother had decided that they should make it clear to the Headmaster about my touching "disability." My mother's words. Not mine.

"Ah, here we are dear." She hands me a lamented piece of paper with my schedule, locker number, and combination.

"Thank you." I tell her sincerely.

I may have a 'touching problem' but I had no problem communicating with people. See, I wasn't too much of a freak.

"Anytime sweetheart. Would you like a map?"

I shake my head at her question and smile slightly.

"No thank you, but I should be going."

She nods her head and smiles again. "Have a great, first day."

Smiling at her once more I quickly exit the office and the smile falls of my face. Fake smiling was so much work. Sort of hurts the cheeks. Shaking my head of my thoughts I glance down at the locker number and immediately set to work on finding it.

Turns out that the senior hall way was the one I was in now and I didn't have to look very far to find my locker. It took me all of three minutes actually. I spun the dial opening it quickly and discarded some of my books, notebooks, and folders into my locker. Well the ones I wouldn't need for my morning classes. After I was done I didn't really have much to do so I shut my lockers and turned around, leaning against it. People had began showing up now and the hall way was crowded with friends talking about things they've done over the weekend, boys and girls kissing, and a lot of touching was happening. A lot of touching.

And then the people in the hall way started separating and two guys walked through them. It was almost as if people stopped and stared at them. Maybe it was because they were so good looking, but I had a feeling it was because they were part of the 'popular' crowd. I knew it was stupid, but I couldn't help but stare at them as the other people did.

They were roughly around the same height, at least a little over six feet. The slightly shorter one had a roughish grin on his face, which made his sapphire blue eyes sparkle madly; contrasting with his deep brown hair that almost looked black. And boy was he fit. Muscles just rippled under the surface of his white button down as he walked. I took my eyes off of the shorter boy and moved onto the taller boy. The taller boys expression seemed to be one that was, what was the word?- detached? It was hard and his strong jaw was set. His messy hair was jet black, and his eyes were a cold hazel. Not warm like most people with hazel eyes would be. He was strong too, but more lean than the other boy and you could see a hint of a tattoo on his wrist were his shirt rode up. He really was som-

I stop dead as those cold hazel eyes meet my own. I felt like I couldn't move. It was like the trances that I get in except this time I had full brain activity. I still didn't move when the boys with brown hair dragged the other boy over to me. I especially didn't move when he smiled at me, his smile was so intoxicating that I just couldn't look away.

"You're new." He states.

I manage to nod my head.

"I'm Vincent James, and you are?"

He held out his right hand and I gulped. I couldn't touch him. I wouldn't touch him.

"I'm Jacey." I say quietly.

And then I could move again and it felt like everyone had their eyes on me and them. Like everyone was listening to our conversation. It unnerved me.

When he realized I wasn't going to shake his hand he put it down and I sent him a look, hoping he'd read the apology in my eyes. I didn't want to be rude to this boy. God knows why because I never cared about hurting feelings before, but something about this boy made me change my mind.

"Beautiful name." He comments, flashing me another smile.

"Thank you."

He motions to the boy next to him. "This is Christopher Andrews, but everyone calls him Chris."

I eye the taller boy, Chris. His name fit him, somehow.

"So where did you move from?" Vincent asks, breaking me from my thoughts.

"New Jersey." I tell him slowly. I didn't want to think about New Jersey, I didn't want to think about what happened there.

"Wow New Jersey? Shame though, moving during the middle of senior year. At least your friends are only a train ride away."

He must have noticed my grimace because he eyes me carefully.

"Jacey, are you alright?"

I nod my head quickly. "I'm fine!"

He raises an eye brow and smirk forms on his lips. "Right."

I take a deep breath.

"Anyway, what's your first period class?"

I look down quickly at my schedule and then just hand it to him.

"Ah Miss Smarty Pants aren't we?" He teases, I blush. "Don't worry; we have most of the same classes together."

For some reason his teasing gets the better of me and I smile a real smile, the first real one I had in months and it didn't hurt my cheeks.

"There's that smile I've been looking for." He says leaning towards me.

I try and control my breathing.

"Well would you like us to walk you to first period?" He asks bowing formally.

I shrug my shoulders and look at Chris who's eyes seem to narrow down at mine.

"That would be nice, thank you." I say turning back to Vincent.

He flashes me a wink. "Let's head to my locker first, babe and then we'll get going."

And despite myself, I smile again.

XX

"You know," Vincent comments during lunch. "All the boys here have been staring at you all day."

My mind goes in a panic, he doesn't seem to notice but Chris seems too. I feel like he's reading my thoughts, and knowing exactly where my mind is going.

"That's because she's beautiful, obviously." A girl who introduced herself as Serena comments, using her left hand to run through her glossy black hair.

I blush at her compliment. It wasn't that I've never been told that before it's just- I wasn't beautiful. Not anymore, and I wouldn't be to them if they knew what happened. They probably wouldn't even want to be near me if they knew.

"Very true." Vincent comments, eyeing me up and down. "She's going to be asked out on a lot of dates."

"I don't date." I tell him quickly.

Serena drops her fork and Vincent whips his head towards mine.

"Like, at all?" He asks.

I shake my head.

"Why?" Serena asks, still completely shocked.

"I don't really believe in relationships and stuff." It wasn't a lie, but at one point I had believed in love and relationships, but now I knew what shit that was.

"Or maybe no one has ever asked you out." Chris says speaking to me for the first time. The sound of his voice was deep and something about it had chills going up and down my spine. I liked the way it sounded, even if the words coming out had been an insult.

I narrow my eyes at him. "I've been asked out alright." I snap.

He cocks an eye brow and smirks at me. "Oh really?"

I nod my head. "Yes, really. I've had boyfriends before."

"Well I don't see why-"

"Dude, don't be an asshole." Another guy speaks up, stopping the rude comment about to come out of Chris' mouth.

"Thank you Casey." Serena says smiling brightly. "I was scared I'd actually have to do that myself."

He winks at her. "Anytime, babe."

"So," She says, turning to me. "You don't date, what else is there to know about you?"

I don't like people touching me, I think but instead I say, "I play softball."

Her eyes light up, as do the boys'.

"Really?"

I nod my head at her.

"Thank GOD!"

I raise an eye brow at her. "We're all extreme softball and baseball freaks at this table. Are you any good?"

"Uh-"

"You're a bit thin." She comments, looking my body up and down. "Actually you're a bit too thin."

Don't I know it, is what I want to say. I hadn't always been this thin, before I had muscle. You could tell I was an athlete, now I probably looking more along the line of an anorexic girl.

"I've always been thin." I lie. "But I guess I'm decent."

"Did you play varsity?" Vincent asks.

"Since freshmen year." I answer back.

"First homerun? Well did you hit one yet?" Casey asks, correcting himself.

I nod my head. "Sure, it was probably like my fifth or sixth game into the season of freshmen year."

His eyes widen a bit. "Impressive."

"Position?" Serena asks.

"Third." I answer quickly.

She sighs in relief.

"Perfect! You'll definitely make varsity. Our third basemen graduated last year!"

Chris rolls his eyes. "You haven't even watched her play yet."

"She sounds pretty good to me." Vincent comments, leaning back slightly in his chair.

"Yeah sounds." Chris emphasizes the word.

Vincent's chair slams down. "What is your problem today, man?"

Chris doesn't answer.

"Did you not get enough sex last night or something? I know you get a bit cranky if you haven't gotten laid."

Chris' eyes narrow. "I got enough sex last night." He interrupts.

"Well then what is it?"

Chris doesn't answer again, Vincent shakes his head.

"Let's go for a walk, man."

Chris doesn't move.

"Come on man." Vincent urges, tugging on his arm.

He sighs deeply but stands up and follows Vincent out of the lunch room. My eyes follow them until they're out of sight.

"Don't worry about Chris." Serena tells me. "He's always in a bad mood, especially if he doesn't have sex."

"What?"

"Chris is really into the casual sex thing." Casey informs me. "Really into it actually."

"What do you mean really into it?" I ask.

Casey rolls his light blue eyes and smiles. "I mean, different girl every day type of thing. Girls throw their selves at him and he doesn't turn them down."

"But isn't that wrong to have sex with all those girls?" Not that I haven't done that with other boys, I remind myself silently.

Serena smiles and Casey shakes his head. "Well the way he sees it, and I guess the way we all see it is that if a girl can throw herself at you and offer sex then it should be alright to take it. I mean they know what they're getting into with him."

I nod my head. Seemed true enough.

"Are you like that too?" I ask him, cocking my head to the side.

"Aren't you cute." He comments. "We're all like that."

"All?"

Serena reaches over and smacks him lightly on the head.

"Don't listen to him. Sure Casey and Vin have their fair share of girls but they're not as bad as Chris. No one is."

"Why is he like that?" I ponder aloud, not even meaning to ask it.

Serena just shrugs. "It was like he just woke up like that one day. He was different before- happier I guess. I wasn't really friends with him then, so I don't know."

For some reason this intrigued me and I really wanted to find out more about Chris. My mind was running over all the things I'd heard about him and I wasn't going to stop until I found out more.

"So, Jacey." Serena begins. "I'm the only girl in this group of friends; care to help me control these animals?"

I didn't want friends, before I came here. I pushed away all my friends back at home. Maybe I didn't want friends before, but after hanging out with Serena, Vin, Casey, and even Chris. I knew my life would be a lot more interesting. Maybe even my brother would be proud of me. I knew I said I was done being selfish and maybe they deserved someone better as a friend, but for right now it felt, right.

I smile widely at her and wink.

"You look like you could use help."

"You're right about that one." She tells me.

Casey nods his head. "Yeah we're- HEY!" He yells. "We aren't that bad!"

He looks offended, but we just laugh.

"You are that bad Case." She tells him.

He pouts which makes him look ridiculously cute and runs a hand through his blonde hair.

I laugh and he turns to me giving me the cutest puppy dog look ever.

"What do you think? Am I really that bad?"

For a moment I couldn't say anything. And it seemed I didn't have to because Serena smacked the back of his head again.

"Don't do that to the poor girl!"

"Do what?" He asks, smiling.

"Quit trying to charm her, if she's going to be our friend you have to treat her like everyone else."

He frowns and grumbles something under his breath.

"What was that?" She asks him, her eyes narrowed.

He gives her a look, a frown still evident on his face.

"Yes, Mom."

She pats his head. "There, there. All better."