Chapter 1

"Chase."

Chase looked up from his empty test paper at his english teacher, Mrs. Grayson. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail behind her, and she looked like she'd put her makeup on with her eyes closed.

"Yes, Mrs. Gray?" he said in his usual monotone voice he used when it came to dealing with teachers. Mrs. Grayson crinkled her nose, as she always did when Chase chose not to call her by her whole name.

"Chase, you and I need to talk."

"Shoot."

Mrs. Grayson narrowed her eyes, then took the empty seat next to him. Chase always sat alone during classes. Not because he was unpopular, just because he didn't like to talk to alot of people in that school. The guys were so stupid and only focused on sports and sex. The girls were so dumb and fake. Every one in the school sucked alot.

"Chase, you have an F in this class."

Chase lightly bobbed his head. He'd already known that, not like it was a freaking suprise. Since all he did was sit around and sleep in not only this class, but almost ALL his classes, he hadn't exactly deluded himself into thinking he was passing.

"Yeah, I know that Mrs. Gray."

Mrs. Grayson narrowed her eyes and frowned. "Your failing all your classes."

He shook his head. "Not PE."

Mrs. Grayson squinted at him, obviously begining to get angry with him. Chase didn't care. He had that effect on people.

"Fine, Chase. I just came to to tell you that you that you have a week of after school detention."

Chase moved his eyes to his right to look at her, and shook his head again. "Sorry, Mrs. Gray. No can do."

Mrs. Grayson shook her head. "I wasn't offering you a choice."

"Can't do it."

"And why not?"

"Just can't."

"Well unless you can give me an actual good reason, then I'll see you after school."

Then Mrs. Grayson stood up, dusted off her skirt, and walked over to Tammy to see if she needed help with the paper. Chase watched her go, and flipped her the bird behind her back. The boy in the third row saw him, but only shook his head and looked away. Everyone in the class thought that Chase was some illiterate jackass. Of course the jocks could be jackasses, because they played sports! Go team!

Chase flipped that kid the bird when he turned around too.

At lunch, Chase went to his regular table farthest away from the cafeteria and right next to the vending machine. He stuck a dollar in and pushed the button for corn nuts. When they came out he opened the package and sat at the table, throwing his feet up onto it and slowly lifting the cornuts from the bag and into his mouth.

"Hey, douche." A voice said behind him. Chase looked over his shoulder, pushing his shaggy brown hair away from his eyes so he could see better, though he knew who it was.

"Hey, asshole." he said back. Justin plopped himself down into the space next to him, mimicing his posture by throwing his feet onto the table. Justin was the sole person he didn't mind being around. Justin and he were very similiar. Both were mean, anti-social, didn't give a fuck what other people thought about them.

"Whats up?" Justin asked, and Chase snorted and rolled his eyes. "Damn english teacher gave me a week of after school detention."

"Man, that blows." Justin sympathized. "She's a bitch."

"Man, tell me about it. No who the hell is gonna watch of my little sister?"

Justin tilted his head thoughtfully, his black hair catching a little glow from the sun. Justin was supposedly from Mexico, though even though he had the skin and appearance he didn't speak a word of Spanish. Chase often called him the worst mexican ever, but Justin said he didn't want to fit the sterotype. Chase knew that it was actually because no one ever taught him. His parents had died when he was little and since they couldn't find any family they sent him to live in foster care and he'd never learned.

"Man, why can't your mom stop being such a slut and just take one day to watch over her damn kids?"

Chase sighed loudly through his nose.

"Because she's a bitch. That's all there is to it."

After school detention was the worst. The teacher in charge wouldn't let them do anything. Not talk, or read, or even do their homework. Just sit there and stare at the wall. And if they tried to go to sleep and she caught them, she gave them an extra day of detention.

Chase had to run home as quickly as he could. His sister was probably awake by now, and no doubt that his mother wasn't there. She woke up at twelve in the afternoon, left at two, and came back at four am. Even though her daughter was only three, she just left her in her room and let her sleep until her brother came home at two-thirty. Or cry until he came home. Whichever happened first.

He slammed the door open at exactly four o' five and was not suprised to be greeted by the sound of loud crying.

"Nicky!" he shouted, dropping his empty backpack and pounding up the stairs. He threw the door open and his heart squeezed at the sight of his tiny little sister standing in the middle of the room crying. The moment she saw him she ran over to him, shouting, "Chaaaaaase!" She jumped into his arms and buried her head into his shoulder.

"Oh, Nicky. Nicky, I'm sorry. Chase had to stay after school. I'm sorry."

"I was awone! Ah awone, and I was scawwed!" she sobbed, and her patted her hair.

"I'm sorry. Lets go get food. Go get food?" He turned it into a question and she sniffled and nodded. So he lead her down the stairs and into the kitchen. Then he spent the rest of the day playing games with her, watching movies with her, bathing her, and feeding her.

By the time she went back to bed it was eleven-thirty. He pulled the blanket over her shoulder, and leaned down and gave her a kiss on her forehead. Then he sulked down the hall until he reached his room.

He opened his door, and it creaked open. The damn thing was so old. He yawned and reached over for the light switch. The second the lights came on, he froze.

A man, probably in his mid twenties, was standing right in the middle of his room. He was bigger then Chase, and could easily take him down. And he was looking right at him.

Holding a gun.

"Holy shit!" Chase shouted, turning and dashing the other way. He heard heavy footsteps pounding after him and he jumped down the stairs by threes, trying to get down as fast as his legs could carry him.

He turned the corner and reached for the phone that was hanging on the wall. He would have grabbed his cell phone, but at the moment he couldn't remember what it was. His first thought was very illogical. It was that he should try and keep it down, because Nicky was sleeping.

"Hold it!" shouted a rough voice behind him, and his fingers fumbled with the phone. But he held it tightly to his chest and turned to face the man. The man had the gun leveled at his head. Chase gulped, but stood up straight and looked him in the eye, trying not to show any fear.

"I don't want to hurt you." the man said lowly, and Chase resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

"Says the man with the gun pointed at my face."

"Listen. Just put down the phone, and no one gets hurt."

"No. You put down the gun, leave, and I won't call the cops."

"No way, kid." the man growled, taking a step closer.

Chase didn't take a step back, which he knew was what the man wanted. They stared at each other for a long silent moment, each waiting for the other to back off. Even though Chase knew eventually he would, because if he died, there would be no one to watch over Nicky.

So he put the phone down.

"Good." the man said, grabbing the phone off the counter. "Now stay there." he ordered, heading back up the stairs.

Chase, thinking he was heading for Nicky, paniced. "HEY!" he screamed. "Get away from my sister!" Suddenly he remembered where his cell phone was. In his pocket. He reached into his pocket and snatched it out.

"Get away or I'll call the cops!" he threatened.

The man whirled around, his eyes blazing as he begin to aim his gun. But Chase acted quickly and he turned and ran for the back door, begining to dial on his phone. He had just hit the second 1 in 911 when he was suddenly tackled to the ground.

"Get-off...me!" he grunted, and he fought to turn himself around to face his assailant. When he finally managed it, he found himself face to face with a gun.