I felt my throat constrict as a scream worked its way up. I didn't want to die in this cold, dank place. I tried to list everything I wanted to do with my life to try and distance myself from the pain that was making my muscles seize up. I wanted to continue with college, make new friends, shower Kaledeanin's baby with presents and love, get a I job I hate until I find one I love, marry Warrick- my body jerked as the pain doubled. A scream was on the edge of my tongue.

I rolled over to stifle that scream as I woke up suddenly. My face was buried in something soft and warm that moved gently up and down. It nearly lulled me back to sleep but then I remembered what waited for me when I closed my eyes.

I pushed myself up on my elbows to look at Warrick, as I tried to calm my rapidly beating heart. I moved a lot in my sleep so my thrashing hadn't woken him and I was fiercely glad that I had choked down my screams. On my own I could slowly work my way through my problems and resist the urge to cry but if Warrick was awake he'd undoubtedly pull me close and I'd end up a snotty mess. I had ended up like that far too many times in front of him to view it with any certain equanimity.

I put my head down on Warrick's clothed chest. Warrick usually slept in the nude but since I told him I wasn't ready for sex two nights ago he took to wearing shirts and boxer briefs.

I placed my hand on his stomach, spreading my fingers wide as I watched them raise and drop with Warrick's steady breathing. I thought about how much I loved this man, a feeling that sometimes ached within me in was so strong. Before I had believed our relationship was terribly one sided, that I loved him far more then he loved me and I was too naïve or even too frightened to give it much thought. I had been wrong.

Before all of this happened our relationship was so light. I had to admit, a lot of our time consisted of sex too. Warrick said 'I love you' exactly once to me, right before he left, and then never mentioned it again. Then everything bad happened.

I had believed that nothing would ever feel okay again, let alone good. Then Warrick had shown up on my doorstep and while he didn't erase what had been done he had helped heal the big gaping wound. I hadn't realized that I had done the same thing for him until Kale had told me how much trouble Warrick had sleeping, or the bad flashbacks he sometimes had. We were terribly broken, but we were helping each other. Our relationship wasn't one sided, but equal.

His stomach raised higher as he inhaled deeply then slowly let it out. He grumbled as he slowly woke up, and I closed my eyes while trying to hide my grin and pretending to still be asleep. Warrick mumbled swear words when he woke up, no matter what time of day, and he had no idea he was doing it. It had been shocking at first but now I could hardly resist the temptation to giggle at him while he mumbled some particularly unflattering words, though I was nearly positive they were all directed at the sun that was leaking through his window and directly into his eyes.

Warrick went to roll over to escape the light but realized, just in time that rolling over would mean crushing me under him. He then tried to shift lower but to no avail, since he was trying not to move me too much. All the while he was swearing unintelligently, which caused me to let out a small giggle that I tried to cover up with a cough. I thought I had gotten away with it but should have known better since his grumblings stopped suddenly and then he rolled over onto me, burying me beneath him.

Panic swelled so quickly I was left lightheaded. My whole body stiffened and I made a scared, terrible sound while pushing Warrick with the one hand that wasn't crushed between our bodies. He was off me in less than a second and I was standing in the middle of the room before I could think clearly.

With the panic ebbing away I felt a rush of embarrassment as I glanced at Warrick, an apology on my tongue that died just as quickly as my panic attack had. Warrick was sitting with his back to the wall, as far away from me as he could get on the full-sized bed, but his head was hung in shame.

I felt lousy for my over-reaction but that was nothing compared to how terrible Warrick looked. I rubbed my face hard, trying to think of the right words to put him at ease but I had nothing. Some of the things my kidnapper did to me were obvious to anyone, from the scars left behind on my skin, but some other things I managed to keep a secret, even from the police who had made me re-tell my story several times to multiple people.

My kidnapper was how I referred to him, even though I now knew his name and much more about him than I'd ever wanted to know. I didn't want to think of him as a person, because what type of person tortured another person? There was a bunch of stories of him on the news and in newspapers, I tried to avoid them but one night I did see one. They didn't mention my name, thankfully, but they talked about the things he did to "his victim". He was a war hero, had come from a broken him, people who knew him said he was a "good boy" and a "great soldier". I didn't want to know those things about him because I just saw him as evil.

"Warrick, I-" I trailed off because I didn't have anything to say except apologies, which would only upset him.

"Just tell me what you need Jordan, you know I'll do anything I can." Warrick said in a soft tone that sounded broken. My heart clenched and I swallowed.

That was the difficult part, because I didn't know what I needed. I knew what I wanted, in my heart and head, but my body wanted something completely different. I wanted to crawl in bed with Warrick, and I wanted him to kiss and touch me until I didn't feel disgusting and used anymore, because I was nearly positive that Warrick was the only person who could help with that. When he was near I felt clean, a kind of clean that countless showers couldn't accomplish. Except my body shook and stiffened whenever he came too near, unable to tell the difference between Warrick, my loving, wonderful, caring Warrick and my kidnapper, cruel and uncaring. My body wanted to go home, curl up in the safety of my bed and sleep for the next century until the memories had faded in only a way time could do.

I wanted Warrick and then again I didn't. I didn't know how to tell him that without hurting him further so I took the cowards way out.

"I want to go home." Warrick was leaving tomorrow. He would be gone anywhere from six months to two years, and judging how stiffly he moved when he got out of bed I would have to guess that he'd be gone longer than six months. Part of me was screaming to take back my words, but my nightmare and little panic attack had left me sweating and shaking. I wouldn't be able to find any comfort until I took a shower, changed into new clothes and probably cleaned my room for the third time. I needed control of the situation, which I couldn't have with Warrick.

I knew it was selfish but I was trying to have it both ways. I was trying to fix myself while fixing my relationship with Warrick. If I did that for too much longer I knew I'd only make both worse. I needed to work on myself before I could even begin to deal with our relationship, which was fragile right now, thinning ice with so many cracks that it would only take one small nudge before it completely shattered. I was too shaky right now to try and fix that.

For once, instead of keeping it to myself, I told Warrick all this as I pulled on my jeans and looked around for my sweater, which I had pulled off sometime during the night because the hood kept getting wrapped uncomfortably in my hair. Warrick listened in silence as he also got dressed, and then sat down on the bed to put on his shoes.

"So then what do you want to do?" Warrick asked, pushing a hand through his hair and glancing at me. "Take a break?" Warrick sounded disgusted with the idea, which helped because I didn't like the way it sounded either.

"I don't want to," I said before giving up on finding my sweater and just looking around the room. "But I don't think it's fair to ask you to wait for me, especially since we're going to be apart." Warrick got up and hobbled over to his closet before shifting through his shirts until he found a sweater and then he turned to me and put it over my head.

"Fuck fair," Warrick said articulately, well in a typically Warrick way anyways. "I told you I'd do anything for you, and if space is what you need, well then it's probably best that I'm going to Texas." The sweater was big, but it was thick and smelled like Warrick's fabric softener. He looked like he was having trouble with something before he sighed and moved away from me. "I'm not going to give up on us, but if you find someone who doesn't give you a panic attack just by touching you-" He shook his head quickly, silencing me before I could say anything. "If you do Jordan, than I'll be happy for you. Don't get me wrong, I'll become a bitter old man real quick but I will be happy for you. I'll probably also beat the shit out of him, but that's just because I'm not so different from the old Warrick." He grinned at me, and it looked like it hurt him to do so.

"Don't be an idiot," I grumbled, also channeling my old self as I glared up at him. "Now drive me home." I poked him in the chest, taking care to miss his more serious wounds that have yet to fully heal and walked out of his room. I heard him chuckle behind me as he followed me out.

The ride home was quiet, and we both let the music fill the silence. I couldn't help but notice how much we had both changed in the past couple years, but how we stayed the same. Warrick was a tool when I had first started to get to know him. He was arrogant and said things to purposely make me angry or to hurt me. It wasn't like I was completely blameless. I judged him harshly before I even really knew him. I would get angry at any little thing he said, and I let him bait me when usually I'd just walk away from anyone else.

Warrick was still arrogant, perhaps even more so than when we were teenagers. He was a 'cocky son of a bitch' as Liam liked to put it, and even though there was now a limb to to, he still had a strut that clearly said 'I think I'm awesome'. Sometimes he still baited me, but now I knew it was because he thought I was adorable when I was mad, which I still found ridiculous. Though now he would do anything to prevent me from getting hurt, especially from things he says. Even when we were truly fighting he held back what he was really thinking, saving me from that callous, brutish side of him that could really hurt me if he wanted to.

I still let him bait me, because when it was light-hearted I liked arguing with Warrick. I liked how when he was losing a fight he would play dirty and start kissing me until I forgot I was just about to win the argument. I liked his confidence, and I loved his little strut, especially when he was walking towards me and I could read his intentions in his green eyes. I hadn't really changed because even when we were teenagers and I thought I hated Warrick, I still noticed how beautiful his eyes were, and how his cocky smirk made my breath catch just a little.

"Will I get to see you again?" I looked over at Warrick, noticing that we were in my driveway. "Before I leave tomorrow." He clarified while giving me an unreadable look.

"Yeah, I'll come over later tonight if you don't mind." I gathered my purse from my feet and turned to look at him. He nodded and I leaned over, kissing his forehead lightly before getting out of his car and walking into my house.

"Morning sweetheart," Mom greeted happily as she walked over to me and swept me up in a hug. "What would you like for lunch?" I rested against my mom, letting her strength hold me up for a moment as I thought about lunch. I was actually hungry for the first time in forever.

"Spaghetti, with big meatballs." I looked up at her and she smiled widely at me. "Is there ingredients for that?"

"Of course," She hugged me tighter before pulling away. "It'll be done in about half an hour." Perfect, enough time for me to take a long, scalding shower.

I took a long shower then changed into some new clothes my mom had bought for me after I got back. They were apart of my Christmas present, but I also knew it was because I didn't really fit into any of my old clothes. I couldn't help but because a little nostalgic as I looked through my older clothes. They all had memories attached to them, unlike the ones that I wore now.

Several months ago, when I had been saying goodbye to Warrick before he went off to the army in another country I had worn something that was memorable. It wasn't exactly sexy, I knew that while I wasn't ugly I was no near sexy, but I had wanted to leave Warrick with a lasting impression. The night before he left, our real goodbye, I had worn his plain gray shirt that he would be wearing the next day, and nothing else. Warrick had shown obvious appreciation for that.

There would be none of that tonight. I was wearing a light pair of jeans, black chucks, and red hoodie over a black tank top. It wasn't memorable or sexy, just regular and I hoped it was enough for Warrick.

"Mom, can I ask you a question?" I asked as I sat down with my plate next to her. My mom nodded as I chewed on a meatball while considering my words. "What happened between you and Raphael's dad?" I paid attention to my food, sneaking a glance at her every once and a while.

"Things just didn't work out." My mom finally said after a long pause.

"Things just didn't work out?" I questioned, raising my eye brows in disbelief at the vague statement. "How is that even possible? You guys were meant to be together. Something had to have happened." I thought for a moment, wrapping the noodles around my fork as I considered everything. "Something during the time that I was- gone." I stumbled over the last word and I saw my mom visibly flinch over it.

"It's nothing for you to worry about, you've got enough on your plate as it is." I give her a questioning look and she smiled in response to me. "I'm your mother, and you wear your emotions all over your face. Something is wrong with you and Warrick." I tapped my foot against the leg of the table as I thought of what was wrong with Warrick and I. Far too much to discuss over dinner.

"Does this something have to do with why Raphael has been so down lately?" Down seemed to be putting it lightly, he seemed completely depressed and I was extremely worried about it. I watched as my moms face crumbled and I knew I hit the nail on the head. "What happened? Raphael won't tell me anything."

"Jordan, you have to understand how horrible things were, you just vanished and the police couldn't find you." My moms eyes filled with tears and my stomach cramped. I never really thought about how bad it would be for my family and friends when I disappeared, I suppose I wasn't the only one going through hell. "The last person to see you was Raphael and he didn't have any answers." My stomach cramped again, but for a different reason.

"What did you say to him mom?" I asked quietly, barely managing to get the words out. I knew Raphael thought of her as a stand-in mom. She made him soup when he was sick and took care of him the dozen or so times he's broken bones, or just needed a mother figure.

"I yelled at him, accused him that it was his fault you were taken." A few tears escaped and she wiped them away quickly. "Tony heard it all, we got into it, and we haven't really spoken since. I understand that, Raphael is all he has like all I have is you, and no one is allowed to mess with your child. I apologized to Raphael, I know it isn't his fault and it was wrong of me to accuse him but your-" I got up and hugged her. She hugged me tightly back. Even though Raphael meant the world to me, and someone hurting him usually meant that I instantly disliked them, I couldn't really bring myself to be upset with my mom. She was all I had also, and I don't know how I would have reacted if someone took her from me.

"I understand mom, but I really have to go talk too Raphael now." She nodded, telling me to finish my food before I went. I woofed it down then took off out the front door and jogged over to Raphael's house, then knocked on his door. I tackled him in a hug as soon as the door opened and his arms instantly went around me.

"Jordan? What's wrong?" His voice was higher pitched with worry.

"It's not your fault Raph, do you hear me?" I pulled back so I could cup his face and force him to look in my eyes. I had told him this before but it needed repeating. "My mom didn't mean it, she loves you like you're her own son, heck you practically are. She was just upset and angry and probably a hundred more emotions, and you got caught in the cross fire. You couldn't have done anything, he was armed and he wouldn't have thought twice about hurting you to get to me, so please stop blaming yourself." Raphael blinked rapidly, trying to pull his head out of my grasp but I wouldn't let him, not just yet.

"You don't-" I hugged Raphael again, bring him down to my height so I wouldn't have to stand uncomfortably on my tippy toes any longer.

"I do know, I'm extremely intelligent, even you said so yourself." I grinned into his neck before pulling away again. "And as much as I love Kale, she's being an idiot right now. I like Christopher just fine, but you have rights too. A right to see your own child if you want to, to be there for him or her, and Kale can't force you to stay away." I finally voiced what I had been thinking but I had been too afraid to say. It wasn't any of my business but even though Kale said she'd talk to Chris, and to Raphael, she hadn't and I didn't like seeing my best friend in pain. Especially if that pain could be prevented. Raphael obviously cared for Kale, whether his feelings ran deeper than just friendship I didn't know, but he had a right to see his own kid.

"I'm trying to do the right thing, for her and the baby, and it'd be easier on her if I kept my distance." Raphael had a defeated look and it broke my heart to see it.

"It might be the easier thing for her, but do you really think that'd be best for the baby?" Raphael shrugged and I honestly didn't know the answer either. I knew that the kid would be well loved, not only by its parents, but its grandparents, its uncle Warrick and its godmother, me but I also knew that Raphael would love the baby, and it would continue to hurt him if he could never see it. "Raph, you do too many self sacrificing things, you need to do this for yourself. Do something selfish just for once. Kale is 19, dating a convicted felon, and pregnant with another mans baby. Things really can't get much worse." I gave him a little grin and watched as his corners twitched upwards.

"I'll think about it." He finally said, and I shook my head instantly.

"You'll do it, or I'll get even more involved." I stood up straight, trying to look intimidating but Raphael just laughed, the first one I had heard from him in a while, and wrapped his arms around me in a gentle hug that ended with a kiss to my temple. "Do you ever think it'd be easier if we had just fallen for each other like everyone expected?" Raphael chuckled and pulled on one of my braids.

"Much more lately than I ever did, things would be simpler that's for sure." He pulled me out of the door way before closing the door. I kicked off my boots and tossed my coat on the coat hanger before following him into the living room.

"We could be well on our way to being married by now," I said wistfully as I took up the majority of the couch by lying down. Raphael picked up my legs, sat down then put them on his lap.

"The only drama we'd have to worry about is who got the blue M&M's." Raphael commented with a grin.

"Ah, our biggest problem, since we were six." I looked at Raphael as he flipped through the stations on the tv, trying to find something we'd both agree on. He was attractive, that was obvious, with his short blonde hair that got curly if it got any longer than half an inch, and big, expressive blue eyes. He usually sported a dark tan from all his time spent outdoors, and the fact he attended college in a state where the sun shined brightly most days, but he was paler now, the freckles that sprinkled his nose and the top of his cheeks more visable. He was average height, not too tall, but not short either, with wiry muscles that came from summers spent working construction and his days spent playing soccer. Raphael is kind, funny, smart, and gentle; he'd never do anything to purposely hurt anyone.

"Jordan?" Raphael questioned, looking at me now. As much as these qualities were wished and prayed for by other people I didn't love Raphael in that way, didn't want him that way. He was my closest friend, the person who I told all my secrets to and never wondered if he would spill them to anyone else. Life would be much more simpler if we loved each other in a romantic way, but we don't.

"I love you, you know that right?" Raphael's cheeks colored a bit, he was still a guy after all and talking out feelings wasn't something he was particularly good at.

"Yeah, yeah, I love you too. Now stop being mushy and go make me a sandwich." I tried to kick him but he wrapped an arm around my legs, immobilizing me.

"You have to let go eventually," I said forebodingly.

"Not likely, you're kind of old now, you'll fall asleep soon." I sat up and hit him, trying to squirm my legs out of his grip.

"I am not old!" I yelled indignantly.

"I said kind of old." Raphael corrected, like that somehow mattered.

"Well you're kind of ugly," Raphael sputtered at me.

"Now that's just rude, you're a bitter old women." Raphael snapped his teeth in the direction of my hitting hands and I yanked them back.

"Don't you mean a kind of bitter old women?" I questioned, narrowing my eyes.

"No, I mean an extremely bitter old women." I gaped at him as he laughed. The sound lightened my heart, pulling off some of the darkness that surrounded me away. I made a decision. Tonight I would go to Warrick with that decision, to ease both of our minds, and then I would talk to Kale. As much as I loved Kale, I couldn't stand to see Raphael in this much pain. I had lessened his guilt about my kidnapping, but only Kale could help him with his other pain.


"Hey Jordan," Liam greeted me warmly as he stepped aside so I could walk into the apartment. I smiled at him before kicking off my boots and pulling off my coat, which he took. "Warrick's in his room." He motioned with his head and I nodded and thanked him before walking off to Warrick's room. I knocked hesitantly, feeling nervous because I had always just walked in before. Then again I had always purposely tried to catch him with as few clothes on as possible, and since I had requested no sex I thought it was best that we both remained fully clothed.

"Come in," Warrick's voice rumbled from the other side and I walked in. He was laying on his bed, his covers and pillows kicked onto the floor, and there was a pop can resting on his stomach. He glanced over at me with dull eyes before they opened wide and he sat up quickly, causing his can to spill out onto him and his sheets. He cussed as he jumped up and turned the can right side up.

"What are you doing?" I asked while trying not to laugh. I grabbed a discared towel and handed it to him to soak up the spilled liquid on his bed.

"Liam called it sulking," He put the can on the floor before pressing the towel to the wet spot while simultaneously pulling his wet shirt away from his skin.

"But why are your blankets and pillows on the floor?" I picked up the can before he could knock it over again and put it on his desk, next to the small pile of empty cans he already put there. I turned back when Warrick didn't answer me and noticed his head was ducked. In concentration or was that embarrassment? "Warrick?" I questioned, frowning slightly.

"Because they smell like you," He admitted in a rushed tone. I looked at the pillow nearest me then shifted from foot to foot.

"I'm sorry, do you want me to wash them for you?" I asked, feeling stupid and hurt. Warrick stood up and turned to look at me before letting out a harsh cuss that made me wince.

"No, that's not-" Warrick let out a loud breath before sitting down then immediately standing up again. He wiped his butt, narrowing his eyes at the dark stain on his bed sheets. "I was planning to take them with me; I didn't want them to smell like me." He admitted while not looking at me. Understanding suddenly dawned on me. I had done the same with a sweater of Warrick's I had 'burrowed' before he left for his tour in the army. It had lost his smell far too quickly, and I had even bought his after shave in desperation but it never smelled quite right. There was so many smells that made up Warrick, and I mourned that lost. I was embarrassed to admit that, and was surprised that Warrick had done so.

"Want me to pack some of my shampoo and perfume with you too?" His embarrassment didn't stop me from teasing him a bit. Warrick gave me a serious look.

"Kind of, yeah." His sudden frankness made me forget about teasing him, nearly made me forget why I came here in the first place and why we weren't spending our last night together naked and beneath those sheets. That thought made my face flame, and it took every ounce of my self control to stop myself from taking a step towards him. Right now, fully clothed and with space between us I thought I was fine but if I allowed myself to get close to him, I'd have another stupid panic attack and he'd feel even worse.

"Warrick, I wanted to talk about what's going to happen to us when you leave." He turned fully to me, giving me his full attention. Those light green eyes were on me, searching my face, and stopping at my lips. My heart pounded faster and I nearly didn't get out what I wanted to say. "I know we kind of discussed this before, but I think you should reconsider. We'll be apart, and there's no way to know when we'll see each other, or even when we do that I'll be any better than I am now." Warrick looked confused for a moment, his eyes coming up to meet mine before realization hit him.

"Are you trying to say you want to break up again?" Warrick asked, his face and tone giving nothing away. He tried so hard to keep people at arms length, I wondered if he knew his eyes gave everything away.

"I just don't think it's fair to ask you to keep waiting for something that may never happen," I cut him off when he would have spoken with a sharp shake of my head. "I love you Warrick, I do, and I know you feel the same but-" I took a deep breath, knowing what I said next would hurt him but also knowing it needed to be said. "What kind of relationship can we have if every time you touch me a certain way I'm suddenly back in that- that hellhole? I can't talk about it, and people keep telling me that's the only way to move past this, but I just can't, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to."

Warrick scrubbed a hand over his face before limping over to the window, keeping his back to me as he gathered his thoughts. I glanced around his room, noticing how barren it was. It had always been like that though. Warrick was a minimalist. He had a bed and a desk that had his laptop on top of it. There was one picture hanging above his desk, taped up to his wall. It was his squad, I recognized the dirty faces of his newest, and probably closest friends. Then there was the framed picture on his desk of Warrick and I. I could only assume Kale had taken the picture, since she had gotten picture happy lately. It was taken recently, perhaps a couple days ago. I was curled up next to Warrick on the couch, asleep with my hand curled in his sweater. His head was angled downwards, his lips on top of my head and his hand pulling a blanket up over me.

"Jordan, I already told you I'll wait for you." Warrick said, snapping me out of the trance the picture had put me in. I looked over at him to notice that he was now leaning against the windowsill, half his face shadowed as he stared at me from across the room. He looked dangerous, and unbelievably sexy. I felt my heart race just looking at him. "And I meant it, I will wait for you, and if you find someone who treats you good, and who can touch you without sending you into a panic attack then I will let you go, but until that happens I'm here, for you alone." My heart was pounding in my ears as I processed what he said.

"I'm a pathetic, needy, emotionally unstable girl-" Warrick cut me off before I could finish.

"And I'm a lying, cheating bastard with violent tendencies, and you still love me anyways." Warrick stood up straight, taking a step towards me. "You're the only person who's ever believed in me, who didn't think I was the scum of the earth, and expected something of me even when I was nothing, when I didn't deserve it. You've put up with my shit for years, so whatever you need I'll give you. No sex, fine. A break, I'll wait for you. A punching bag-" He held out his arms. "Go for it. I don't think you're pathetic, and I like that you need me, and even though I don't like when you cry I don't mind you crying on me."

I couldn't stand it any longer. I propelled myself across the room and hugged him tightly around his stomach. His heart was beating wildly and his arms came around me instantly, holding me tightly against him. For once I didn't feel a swell of panic, just love. I love Warrick, there was no denying it. Every ounce of me felt it, and if he could wait for me to pull myself together than I could talk things out with a therapist, maybe everyone was right and that's what I really needed.

"No more talking about breaking up with me unless you really mean it, alright?" Warrick whispered into my hair, taking a deep breath as he did so. "You kill me a little each time you do it." I tightened my arms around him, burying my face into his sweet smelling chest.

Things had obviously changed between us. We were no longer the carefree couple who ended arguments by sleeping together, and never talked anything out. I would miss that, but maybe the new us would be something better, something amazing. All I knew for now was that it would be different, and that no matter what Warrick would be here for me. That's all I really needed to know anyways.

Whew I've just been so busy!
Warrick: Why do you always insist on lying?
You know they wouldn't even know if you didn't out me everytime!
warrick: yes, but you wouldn't learn anything, now would you?
...but it just sounds so much better than saying I spent my christmas break sleeping and playing warcraft.
Warrick: That is true, that just makes you sound sad. Maybe you'll get some pity that you're so utterly pathetic-
Warrick: and you have to fill your life with cheetos and warcraft-
I'm so very insulted right now!
Warrick: that they'll forgive you for never updating.
::gets hit in the face with a snowball:: AH SLUSH BALL OF DEATH
Warrick: or not...

As always thanks to my lovely reviewers! I hope the longer chapter made up for the long wait, or at least helped to ebb some of the bitterness. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and New Years!

Darkened Angel Feathers
Brandi Heir
Kaileena Lee
Vicky A.
Fayre Meira
Lady R

I need to explain something because I have gotten some comments on it (coming from two extreme opposites too), and please don't think I'm getting overly defensive, but I'm really just trying to explain. Some people don't understand Jordan's reactions to Warrick. Some believe that she shouldn't have run back to him so quickly, and don't think it's believable that the reason she doesn't want to bare her scars to him is because she's afraid of making him more guilty except that's how Jordan is. Jordan cares more about other people than she really does for herself, and she's slowly changing that but when it comes to people she loves she can't stand to see them in any kind of pain. Warrick feels like it's his fault that she was kidnapped and therefore tortored, her scars would only enforce that guilt, and Jordan understands that. Now saying that, she is embarrassed about the scars. Jordan knows it's not exactly the right way to think, but she can't stop it. She doesn't want to think about what happened to her, she's not ready to face it, and the scars are a constant reminder. They are something she wants to keep just to herself so she doesn't have to come to terms just yet of everything she went through. Right now she's sort of in denial about everything, trying to push it to the back of her mind, thinking that's for the best.

I know that was long, but I hope it explains some things. I do apperciate constructive critism, I went back and changed three chapters because of it, because I understand that most of you guys are just trying to help with plot holes and the like, and to try and understand things, but I feel strongly that Jordan's reaction to Warrick is real and warrented. It might not be the same for other people, but since she is my character I know her best.

Please keep the constructive critism coming! It does help me grow as a writer, which I'm always hoping to do.