The Beginning

I'm tired of being the only person in my entire life that is responsible, especially since I am the youngest in my family. I just want to be able to go home and not have to worry about finding my parents humping on the floor, or having to clean up my brother's junk. I'm only nineteen and have had to play the part of parent since I was old enough to know that what my family was doing was wrong... I was nine.

My life had been a continuous cycle of watching my brother and try8ing to control my parents. It had never been fun, but it was predictable. I had just gotten used to having a job, college, and my duties at home when my life was thrown for a loop.

I was at work, I was a cashier at the local BP, when my brother stumbled in, "D, I need some cash."

I rolled my eyes, "I'm told you that I won't give you cash. I'll give you money for gas, which means that I will take you to a gas station to get gas."

He glared at me, "I need this."

I shook my head, "No."

"Bitch," he turned around and walked out.

I sighed. He had been high again and I hated seeing him like that.

"You know, he shouldn't say that to you," my eyes grew wide as a regular customer came around the corner from getting a pop, "I really don't think that you're a bitch."

I looked away, "It's okay, he's just having a bad day."

He shook his head, "Deana, you are probably the nicest person I know."

I looked up at him, "How do you know my name?"

He smiled, "Name tag."

I sighed, "Oh, right," I looked down at the counter, "I don't know your name."

"Alex."

I looked up at him to see that he was still smiling, "Alex, please don't mention what happened here ever again."

He nodded, "Only if you agree to a date."

My eyes grew wide, "Excuse me?"

"Just spend an evening with me. I know you need the time away from your family."

I narrowed my eyes on him, "How do you know anything about my family?"

"You really don't recognize me?" I felt kind of bad because he looked hurt.

I shook my head, "No, I'm sorry."

He sighed as he shook his head, "Aleksandre Marikov."

I froze. He was one of my best friends from middle school, but he looked completely different. The Alex I remembered was fat and had brown hair. The man that stood before me seemed to be in the best possible shape a person could be in and he had spiked sandy blonde hair.

Alex smiled, "D?"

I sighed, "You look different."

He nodded, "My mom took away my 64 and handed me a soccer ball. She told me that I was not worthy of the Marikov name if I couldn't play foot ball."

I smiled, "So, are you some big league soccer player?"

He shook his head, "No, I'm an actor. I'm on hiatus for a few more weeks."

My jaw dropped. The shy, timid, fat kid that I once knew was an actor! "What have you been in?"

"A new series called Bloodlines."

I rolled my eyes, "Is that a new vampire thing?"

He chuckled and shook his head, "No, it's about three families of shape shifters. They are required to keep their bloodline pure."

I leaned on the counter, "What is your character?"

He took a drink of his pop, "He's a tiger shape shifter that tried to devise a plan out of his duties."

I stood up straight as the door opened. I was beginning to slack. I was at work! I had to work, "Is there anything else you need, Alex?"

He nodded, "Give me a time."

I sighed, "I don't have the time. I'm sorry."

He sighed, "I will spend an evening with you before I have to go back," he smiled, "I've missed you, D."

I swallowed hard as he laid a five dollar bill on the counter then walked out. I tried to call out to him, but the other customer stepped up to the counter.

I jumped awake at the sound of someone pounding on the front door. I blinked a couple of times, not really knowing what woke me up at first until I heard the pounding again. I groaned as I sat up and looked over to my clock. It was 2:30. Who the hell was pounding on the door at that time!

I stretched as I stood up then walked over to my door. I walked the few yards over to the door and looked out the window. There were two cops standing on the front porch. I opened the door slowly.

The first cop was at least nine inches taller than me with graying hair and light blue eyes. I could see that he was attractive when he was younger, "Is this the residence of Jason Heinin?"

I blinked and nodded, "Yes, what can I do for you?"

The first cop sighed, "Would you happen to be Deana, his younger sister?"

I nodded again, "Yes."

The first cop sighed, "I'm Jesse Zimmermin. I'm looking for your brother. We were arresting him and he took an officer's fire arm. He shot an officer and got away. We need to find him."

My eyes began to water as I shook my head, "Not possible."

Jesse placed his hand on my shoulder, "Deana, we need to find your brother. My partner is in critical condition and might not live. Do you have any idea where he might be?"

I shook my head and the tears began to cascade down my cheeks. My brother had gotten into trouble and I couldn't get him out of it, "I have no idea."

Jesse sighed and nodded, "Thank you," he handed me a card, "Call me if you hear anything."

I nodded and looked at the card.

Jesses patted my shoulder, "Things will be okay."

I nodded and he walked away. The screen door shut behind them and I fell to my knees as I began to sob. My brother wasn't the greatest person in the world, but I was the one that was supposed to look out for him. I had failed and now he was in trouble.

I was at work, just going through the motions. I couldn't concentrate on anything. I sighed as someone stepped up to the counter. I looked up at the items that he sat down. A bag of beef jerky and a bottle of water. I punched in the numbers, "Will that be all for you?"

"D, what's wrong?"

I looked up at Alex and my eyes began to mist over, "Something bad happened," I wiped my eyes, "Can you meet me after work?"

He nodded and leaned on the counter, "Are you going to be okay?"

I shrugged, "Can we talk about it later?"

He nodded and grabbed my hands, "What time do you get off?"

I sighed, "I get off at three. Can you meet me at Richard's at 3:30?"

He nodded and pulled away, "Sure," he pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. He opened it and pulled out a ten dollar bill, "Do you want me to give you my number?"

I sighed and nodded, "Thank you, Alex."

He smiled and actually waited for me to give me his change back.

I sat at a random booth at Richard's as I waited for Alex. It was 3:40. Was he just playing me at the gas station? I sighed and stood up. I wasn't going to spend time that I could be working on my school work sitting at a restaurant because someone stood me up.

I sighed as I saw Alex in the front of the restaurant with a swarm of girls. Everyone seemed to be transfixed by him. I rolled my eyes. I should have known not to have an actor in a public place.

I stepped up to the front and pushed through the swarm of girls. Alex's dark eyes lit up as he saw me, "D, I am so sorry. I haven't been able to get back there," he looked around at the girls and sighed.

I glared at the girls around him, "What the hell are you doing!"

All the girls around him stared at me and a young high schooler who looked like she hadn't ate before in her life, "The same thing you're doing. This is Aleksandre Marikov!"

I nodded, "I know who he is, he's been my best friend since we were in middle school," I stepped over to Alex and grabbed his hand, "Now, if you sluts don't mind," I pulled him towards the booth I was sitting in, "I'm going to spend some time with my friend."

The high schooler grabbed my arm and pulled me to a stop, "Why aren't you on his website?"

Alex looked back at her, "I have a website?"

I rolled my eyes as the girl smiled, "Yes, it's my favorite website."

Alex stepped closer to me, "Can we go somewhere else?"

I looked up at him and nodded, "Afraid of stalkers?"

He nodded and the girl looked offended. I smiled at him and pulled him out of the restaurant. I followed him over to his car and paused. I didn't expect what I saw. It wasn't some fancy sports car or some big gas guzzling SUV. It was a small black Chrysler Sebring.

Alex smiled at me, "Not what you expected?"

I shook my head and looked up at him, "Yeah."

He laughed at me, "I'm not like most of my coworkers," he leaned against his car and sighed, "What happened?"

I leaned against his car next to him, "Jason almost killed a police officer. Now they're looking for him."

He stood up straight and stepped in front of me. He pushed my hair out of my face and I looked up at him, "D, is there anything I can do for you?"

I sighed and closed my eyes at the feel of his hand on my cheek, "I just want to get out of here. I can't take it anymore."

"D, I can do that," I opened my eyes and stared at him. His dark eyes were sincere and it scared me. I had always wanted out, but I didn't know if I could make that decision. I was the only thing in my family that kept them together.

I sighed, "I don't know if I can do that."

"Why not? You need it."

I shook my head and pulled away from him, "I can't. I have to take care of my family."

He sighed, "D," he ran his hand through his hair, causing the spikes to be dulled, "You don't have to take care of your family. You are only nineteen," he leaned closer to me, "Someone should take care of you."

My eyes grew wide as he pulled me close to him, "I can't do this."

He pushed my hair out of my face, "What can't you do?"

I pushed him away, "Alex, I haven't seen you in six years and you're trying to kiss me. I can't do this. I just wanted to talk to you because you were the only person I could talk to," I took a step back, "You're hot, I'll admit that. You're successful, that's very attractive to most women. I don't care. I just wanted to talk to my friend," I turned away from him and sighed as I made my way to my car.

"Deana," I looked back at him and he sighed, "I'm sorry," he stepped up to me, making sure that he was a good arm's length away from me, "I couldn't stop thinking about you. The only reason I actually made something of myself is because I wanted to find you again and be something to you."

My eyes grew wide. Alex liked me. He was an actor because he thought that I would be all over him if he did. I couldn't believe that he liked me even after all that I told him. My family was so messed up and he didn't care. I shook my head, "Alex, I can't get involved. I have so much to worry about. I have school, work, and now Jason's latest trouble."

Alex nodded, "Can I still hang out with you?"

I looked over to his car, "I don't know."

He sighed and looked down at the ground. He was hurt that I wasn't sure if I had time to spend time with him. I felt bad that my life was so messed up. I really didn't want to get anyone else involved in my life. I didn't want anyone else to suffer what I had to.

I looked up to him, "I'll call you if I have time."

He smiled at me and nodded, "Thank you," he ran his hand through his hair again.

It was three weeks later. I hadn't gotten around to calling Alex. I really felt bad about it, but I hadn't had time. I had to cram for tests and deal with the questions from the police. They still hadn't found Jason and I was becoming even more worried.

I was about to snap. I needed a break, but there was no where I could go to take a break. I just had to put up with it and it would all end soon enough. I stood behind the counter at work as I thought about Alex. I should have called him. I knew I made a mistake, but there was no way to go back and change it.

The door opened and I looked up. My eyes grew wide as I looked into Jason's hazel eyes, "D, I need some money."

I shook my head and stepped back from the counter as far as I could, "No, I can't. Just leave, Jason. I'm going to get in trouble."

He glared at me and walked over to the counter, "I need it now, D! Just give me money so I can get out of here!"

I shook my head and closed my eyes, "Just leave, Jason."

He leaned over the counter and reached out for me. He caught my vest and pulled me towards the counter. I let out a cry of pain as the edge of the counter slammed into my stomach. I tried to push him away, but he was a lot stronger than I was.

I began crying as I realized that I couldn't break his grip, "All I need it five hundred. With that I can make it out of the state and find more to sell."

I shook my head as the tears continued to fall. Jason pulled on my vest again and I coughed from the pain, "Jason, you're hurting me."

Jason laughed, "I know, is it working?"

I opened my eyes and froze as I saw the gun that was in his hand. He pointed the gun towards my head and smiled, "Just give me the money."

I looked to the door as I saw Alex. He pulled the door open and rushed Jason. Jason turned around and pulled the trigger. My eyes grew wide and I screamed as Alex fell to the floor at my brother's feet. Jason kicked Alex and turned to me, "Deana?"

I shook my head, "Never!"

He pressed the gun to my head, "I'm not afraid to hurt you. I don't care that you're my little sister."

I closed my eyes as I realized that there was no hope. I didn't have that money, but he wouldn't believe that. He was going to kill me. I was going to die because my brother messed up. I swallowed hard as I waited for it to happen, but what happened surprised me.

The door opened and I heard Jesse's voice, "Drop the gun or we'll shoot!"

I opened my eyes and watched as Jason dropped the gun on the counter. He let go of me and I ran over to Alex. He was laying face down and I thought that he was dead. I kneeled down next to him and touched his shoulder. He groaned and I sighed in relief.

He pushed himself onto his back and I saw the bullet wound in his shoulder, "Are you okay, D?"

I nodded and stared at the wound. He was hurt because of me. I had hurt him. That was why I couldn't let him into my life. I pushed him away and that's what he got. I shook my head and stood up, "Alex, why did you do that?"

He rolled his eyes, "D, you are my friend. I had to help you."

I looked over to the police and sighed, "Officer Zimmermin," he looked over to me as a couple other police officers escorted Jason out of the gas station, "What's going to happen to Jason?"

Jesse sighed, "He's going to be locked up. I'm sorry, Deana."

I shook my head, "Don't be, it's way too long overdue," I looked down at Alex. He just had a taste of my life and was injured, what would happen to me if I continued to live this way?

Alex stood up and stumbled into a rack of candy bars. Jesse stepped over to him, "You should sit and wait for an ambulance. You're losing a lot of blood."

Alex shook his head, "It'll be quicker if I have someone drive me there," he looked over to me, "D?"

I nodded and helped him walk out to his car. I ran back to the gas station and locked the door. I handed the key to Jesse and smiled, "Give this to my manager. Tell her than I'm done."

He nodded and I ran back to Alex's car. I sat down in the driver seat and looked over to him, "Do you still want to take me away from my family?"

He nodded, "Yes, but can we talk about this after I get some damn good pain medication?"

I nodded and drove him to the hospital.

I looked around at the large city. It scared me, but Alex seemed to be at ease. He had been the best friend since he had taken me to his house in California. It wasn't a big house, but it was large enough that I rarely saw him. It wasn't that I didn't want to see him, but he had given me space.

It had been two days since I had been in California. Alex had been on some pretty good pain medications for his wound. He'd been coherent the entire time, his manager wouldn't allow him to not be able to go in for shooting.

Alex had finally had a time that he could get away from his manager and thought that it would be okay to talk to me. He had decided to take me sightseeing. It was so strange. He was an actor that was becoming quite famous, but no one really cared. It was like it was a common occurrence, which it probably was.

We had just sat down at a little restaurant for lunch when I actually took the time to take in everything around me. It was scary. I looked over to Alex and he had his eyes closed. I knew that his shoulder had to be hurting him, but he told me that he wasn't going to take any pain medications because there was a possibility that it would ruin the day.

"We can just go back to your house. You don't look too good."

He opened his eyes and shook his head, "D, I'm fine," he smiled, "Are you having fun?"

I looked around, "This place is kind of scary. How can you just walk around this place as if you were back home?"

He ran his hand through his hair, "This is my home," he looked around, "This is the only place that I can go to that people don't swarm me. It's refreshing."

I nodded, "Oh, right," I looked down at the table and sighed, "I still don't know if I did the right thing. I left Jason to deal with the court system on his own. I left my parents alone."

He reached across the table and sighed, "D, you can't always be taking care of people. It's not your job. You're not a mother. You're still a virgin."

My eyes grew wide, "What? How do you know?"

He laughed, "D, I didn't know, I just never thought that you would be the person to do anything that might ruin your chances of taking care of your family."

I stared at him amazed, "You didn't expect me to come with you did you?"

He shook his head, "Nope, but I'm glad you did," he squeezed my hand and pulled away as if he was afraid to touch me for too long. I didn't blame him. I kind of did put that in his head.

"What are we going to do now? How am I going to deal with school? Where am I going to live?"

He put his hand up and sighed, "D, I was actually thinking of seeing if you would like to do some acting. I knew that you loved it in middle school and that you were the first pick for the lead part in the play. Do you want a chance like that again?"

My eyes grew wide, "I don't know if I can do it. I'm nowhere near pretty enough."

He rolled his eyes, "D, if you could see the actresses without their makeup they would make you look like a goddess."

I rolled my eyes, "There is no way. They have to be pretty to be looked at in the first place."

He chuckled, "D, I'm saying that you're gorgeous. You may not see it, but I've noticed all the looks from the guys around."

I looked around at the people there at the restaurant. Most of the guys were looking at their beautiful girlfriends and none of them were looking at me. I rolled my eyes and looked back at Alex, "No one is looking at me."

He pointed to the street where more people were walking by. They looked like they were tourists and most of the men were looking my way, "All the people that come here are in the business. You aren't going to be the center of their focus. The people out on the street aren't. They are just the normal people that see normal people all around."

I sighed, "Oh, why do you think I could be an actress?"

He shrugged, "I don't know. I just thought that I could help you if you wanted to get into the business. I can also help you do other things. If you want to continue school then I will help you figure that out," he reclined in the chair and looked up to the sky, "What do you want to do?"

I looked around, "I would rather not be here too long. I'm sorry, Alex, but I don't like big cities."

He nodded, "I'm not going to stop you."

I smiled, "Thank you."

It had been almost four years. I had graduated and obtained my dream job as a counselor of a middle school. Alex visited me every time he went on hiatus, but he only stayed for about a before he went to meet with his parents. I had insisted on paying him back for all of his help, but he had declined.

I still felt bad that he continued to buy me things every time I saw him. I hadn't seen Alex in almost a year and was actually anxious to see him. I had gotten up, it was the middle of summer, and showered before I allowed myself to do my makeup.

I was watching the first season of Bloodlines when someone knocked on my door. I jumped up and ran to the door. I didn't know why, but I really wanted to see him.

I pulled the door open and paused. Alex was standing there with his hair down to his shoulders. The last season that was on he had shaggy hair that just went past his ears. I sighed and looked him over. He looked the same, but his hair threw me off.

He smiled at me and pushed his hair behind his ears, "D, how are the kids?"

I stepped aside and shrugged, "Troubled."

He nodded and looked around, "It always amazed me how you keep this place up."

I smiled and stepped up to him, "Alex, how have you been?"

He shrugged and sighed, "D, are you okay?"

I stared at him confused, "What do you mean? I'm fine."

He took a step back and closed the door, "You've never been like this. You almost seem to be throwing yourself at me."

I sighed, "Oh, I'm just happy to see you."

He looked me up and down. He sighed and walked into the living room to see that Bloodlines was playing, "I can sign that for you."

I smiled and shrugged, "What do you want to do?"

He sat down on the couch, "Well, I guess we could just watch Bloodlines. Then we can get something to eat."

I nodded and sat down next to him, "Alex, can you tell me anything about the next season?"

He laughed at me, "Well, I can tell you that there is going to be another girl that comes to tempt Xavier," he pulled a letter out of his pocket, "This is from my producer. He saw the picture I have of you in my wallet--"

"You have a picture of me in your wallet?"

He laughed, "Yes," he gave me the letter, "He thinks that you would be a perfect temptress."

My eyes grew wide, "I can't. My life is so great here."

He nodded, "I know, but if I didn't give that to you he could have let me go. I know that you don't want to do it, so you don't have to. I can just tell him that you declined."

I shook my head and sighed, "Alex, I think I should confess something."

He relaxed and nodded, "What?"

I took a deep breath then leaned towards him and kissed him. He froze then pushed me away, "What are you doing?"

I sighed, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have just done that."

He smiled and shook his head before he kissed me again. That simple kiss led to so much more. Before either of us knew what we were doing we were topless on the couch. He pulled back to work on taking off my pants and I saw the scar on his shoulder. I sighed. His body was so perfect. He had the greatest muscle tone and perfect face. If it wasn't for me he would be perfect.

I smiled at him as I reached down to take off his pants. He paused when he had my pants unbuttoned, "D, you're still a virgin."

I nodded, "I was waiting for the right man," I smiled at him, "I want you to have what no one else can claim."

His dark eyes lit up as I pushed his pants off his hips. He returned to what he was doing. Only a few moments later we were both undressed and I had lost it.

Alex looked at me as I stepped out of the bathroom. His dark eyes seemed even darker than normal, "I can't stay here with you. I have to return for more shooting."

I nodded, "I know, that's why I'm going with you," I smiled, "My only request is that we return here every chance we get."

He nodded, "Of course," he stood up and stepped over to me. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me, "Are you planning on being my temptress?"

I gave him a seductive smile, "Didn't I already succeed?"

He laughed and lifted me up, "Not only will you be my girl in real life, but you will be mine on Bloodlines."

I laughed at him, "Yes," I laid my head against his chest. I wondered if what I was doing was the right thing. I loved my job and enjoyed the quite life of a little city. I didn't know if I was going to like being an actress. I didn't even know if I could do it.

I sighed. I had made a difficult decision before and before it had included running away with Alex. Things worked out fine then. They would work out fine this time. I nodded and took a deep breath. I was twenty-three and my life was just beginning.