Of all of the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.


"Seriously—I'm not going to ask you again," I insisted, looking down at his motionless form.

He finally stirred, pushing the sheets down a bit, only revealing his eyes. "Dammit, Carson, c'mon!"

"Get up! I don't want to be here either, buddy! But we're both putting in hard time till our eighteenth birthdays so move your lazy butt!"

I pursed my lips and glanced down at my chart, already knowing what it said.

"I'm so tired," he moaned.

"Oh? Is that maybe because you stayed out two hours past curfew last night? Now you've got early morning clean up. Hope it was worth it," I snapped.

Danny smirked lazily and turned over onto his stomach, ruffling the covers. His freckled back now exposed to me as he murmured, "Nahh, but maybe it would have been if I could have spent it with you..."

I rolled my eyes, not impressed. There were nine boys living in this house, everyone just as horny and starved for girl attention as the next. This was work to me, nothing more and nothing less. It had been that way for as long as I could remember.

"Get up, punk," I finalized, ignoring his comment.

"Hey, didn't Sammy say not to call names, princess?" He teased.

Usually this playful banter would be somewhat entertaining, even humorous but at seven-thirty on a Saturday morning with not a drop of coffee in my system, I was not amused. I was done trying to reason with an animal.

I brushed my hair out of my eyes and shook my arms, ready to end this once and for all. Grabbing a hold of Danny's sheets, I pulled back with all my might and snatched it off his body.

I looked down and was greeted by his bare back and boxer clad butt. With a groan, he reluctantly sat up, cracked his neck loudly and set his large feet down on the wooden floor heavily.

Finally he asked, with a mischievous smile, "Like what you see?"

I looked down at him, expressionless. I checked his name, the final wake up call, off my list. As I walked out the room, I called over my shoulder, "You have ten minutes to get downstairs. If you're late, you're on clean up duty tonight too."

With an exasperated sigh, I let the door slam behind me.

I've been working in Patterson's Home for Boys every weekend since I can remember and I'm not exaggerating. In fact, my first steps were taken with the help of a juvenile delinquent while my parents, better known as Tommy and Sammy, looked on absolutely delighted.

They wanted me to view all these guys, all these different 'cases' and menaces to society, as my brothers. They wanted me to embrace them just like they did and help steer them towards the path of self-discovery and ultimately away from all the mischief they were causing.

"Carson, baby, this is our family's calling—to help and heal them," My mother tried to explain to me the first time I was forced to help out around the boy's home.

The 'home' was an old, brown brick, two-story family flat smack dab in the middle of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. On the outside there was a beautiful, blooming garden that my mother had spent countless hours cultivating and a newly renovated porch and walkway my dad and his buddies had just finished.

It was a breathtaking site to see: Large and glorious. But honestly, it was all in vain because the moment you looked past the pretty flowers and shiny windows, you saw the big, brown sign that read: Patterson's Home for Boys.

It might as well have said: "Hey, old-timer neighbors and families with children, I wouldn't walk on this side of the road if I were you!" because everyone who lived on the block was terrified of us.

The neighbors actually petitioned against the opening of the home, picketed outside for months and called their local congressmen…and when all else failed, they gave the boys the dirtiest looks imaginable when they ventured outside.

It broke my mother's heart. She just wanted to help people and couldn't even fathom the backlash she would face from opening this home. Me? I could understand it. Even when I was a little girl, I knew these boys' were no good.

I've always been the practical one in the family. My parents were children of the 70's. They proudly proclaim that they did the whole sex, drugs and rock n' roll thing. My mother even openly tells people she was pregnant with my brother before she could even legally buy a pack of cigarettes.

In their diluted minds, they view their testimonies as stories of hope. They tell the boys they can come out of their problems and become successful and good citizens. Doubtful, if you ask me which they rarely do since I'm so 'negative'.

All these guys were here for one thing or another. Be it drugs, alcohol, vandalism, violence or running away…I didn't always know nor did I care. I just knew the judge would always say, "Patterson's Home for Boy's or Juvenile Hall."

Most picked the first option but only a few actually got selected. It's a bit of a long process. There are interviews, background checks and shadow days. It's not easy but hey, neither is juvi. So in my opinion, there's really no room for complaining.

"Carson," My dad's voice boomed over the PA system installed into the walls, "My office, please, darling."

I stopped in my tracks and groaned audibly, "God, dad…"

Jason, one of the younger boys, floated by me. His dreads swinging and a smile lighting up his face, "Excuse me, darling," He drawled out in his southern twang.

I glared at him but decided against starting a fight.

As I bounded down the wobbling stairs and into my dad's pathetic excuse for an office, I couldn't help but crack a tiny smile.

The moment my dad set eyes on me, he was grinning from ear-to-ear. I guess you could say I was his pride and joy. Every time he saw me his eyes shown with adoration. I was his baby girl—his smart, witty, socially conscious and beautiful baby girl, as he bragged.

My father was a long, lanky man. His knees barely fit under his desk and as I looked down into his glass covered eyes, I sighed heavily.

"I'm irritated," I stated frankly, plopping down into the old, plush chair in front of his desk.

"What's got the princess in a tizzy this time?" He asked with a playful smile. "Did one of the guys get under your skin again? I told you, darling—"

"I'm not in a tizzy, dad. I'm in a bad mood. A legitimate and seriously bad mood. I feel suffocated in this house. These boys are driving me crazy!"

He opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by a loud, hollow knock on the door. "Tommy?" A maturing male voice asked.

"Yes?" My father called back.

I threw my hands up in exasperation. Well, so much for getting a minute of time with my father today.

Todd bursts in the door, shirtless and shoeless and mad as a cow.

"Tommy! The fuck is wrong with Danny? He just came into my room and started shit with me for no reason! Like for real," He pants, "I was sleeping and he just comes in and starts throwing my shit around and—"

My dad removes his glasses and rubs his eyes, age finally beginning to show on his forehead. "Todd, please calm down. It's not even eight yet."

"My point exactly!" Todd screamed.

Time for me to make my exit. I began to make my way to the door.

"Wait up, Carson!"

"Dad, you deal with this. I'll catch up with you later."

"I'm scheduled to pick up a new boy at the train station at 8:30 but obviously that's not going to happen," He shot Todd a look, "Baby, could you perhaps…?"

I immediately began shaking my head wildly, "No, dad, c'mon! You promised!" I whined. I'm so tempted to just start stomping my foot and throw the temper tantrum I never got the chance to have.

He put his hands up in defense, "I know, I know but I could really use your help, kid. Your mom's at the store, the house is in an uproar…" He looked at me and before I knew it, I was caving.

"Goddamnit, fine," I said, grabbing the keys off his desk. "Name?"

"Noah Alexander," He said.


I plopped down on the waiting bench, seated on the platform of the train. I was ten minutes early and that was just fine with me. I hadn't heard my own thoughts in weeks, and the unfamiliar sound of silence resonated in my ears and caused my entire head to ring.

I put my earphones in and watched the people pass. Their faces mixed in my mind, a swirl of different hues and features. Their eyes distant and lacking any sort of familiarity or warmth.

Everyone seemed to be in a rush, disregarding common courtesy on their missions to wherever they were going. They ran into each other and didn't even bother to mutter an apology.

You think New Yorkers are bad? I swear, Bostonians are some of the rudest people you'd ever met, all lip and sass, ready to curse you out at the drop of a dime.

Finally my eyes zeroed in on a pair of old women; they were chatting, waving their hands flamboyantly and obviously catching up on old times with eyes shaped like sunsets from laughing. My heart warmed in my chest, making it feel good and whole. I smirked to myself and averted my gaze.

"God, get out of my way!" I heard a scurrilous voice grunt out. My eyes quickly flashed back into the ladies direction, just in time to see a stocky, little man shove past them, causing one to drop her bag in shock.

I instinctively stood up and yelled, "Hey!" and began pushing my way through the bustling crowd, trying desperately to reach them.

The women were clearly shaken, their lips quivering and mouths agape in shock. I immediately saw red. I was so infuriated. I was going to let this guy have it. I began frantically elbowing my way through an unrelenting crowd, ignoring the rude comments I was receiving.

Through the heads of passerby's, I watched as an obscenely tall, teenage boy, grabbed the man's wrist and whispered something through tightened jaw into his ear.

As I got closer, the scene became clearer. The distant faces of the women took shape and gained personality and I could see that they'd spilled their purses but my eyes couldn't keep away from the boy, whose tan fingers were wound tightly around the short man's chubby wrist.

I was only a foot or so away from the scene as I watched him turn the fleeing midget-man around and demand, "Say it."

The small man glanced over his shoulder at this mysterious hero, almost ready to argue but perhaps thought better of it and said, "I'm s-sorry, ladies."

"Pick up their bags," The teenage boy demanded and kept a close eye on the shuttering man as he handed the women their fallen parcels and then scurried off like the little rat he was.

The old women bomb rushed the teen after his departure, scattering kisses all over his face and patting his cheek. "Such a sweetheart," they gushed. "Thank you!"

I couldn't take my eyes off of him as he was showered with affection. My heart beamed with admiration as one of the women tried to stuff a twenty dollar bill into his hand and was flatly refused, leading them to scold him thoroughly as he laughed.

He was so undeniably handsome and so obviously good that it embarrassed me to even look his way, especially since I knew my mouth was half open with awe. I'd never seen a guy be so heroic. All I had ever encountered were the mental cases back home—the type of boys who wouldn't have bothered to spit on these women if they were on fire. Real winners…

"C'mere, boy," The older woman of Asian descent demanded. He leaned in towards her and she placed the money in the pocket of his v-neck.

"Now, you go on! Don't you have respect for your elders?" She wagged her finger in his face.

The boy threw his dark head back in laughter, "Do I really have to prove that twice?" He asked in good humor. His laugh was deep and rumbled through his chest as he chuckled.

"Now watch that mouth!" She said and brought him into a final embrace.

"Let's go, Miriam. This boy probably has places to be and more poor, defenseless women to make swoon," She winked at him and proceeded to grab her friend and lead them away.

He watched their retreating forms for awhile and I watched him. His physical anatomy was tall and lithe, movie star solid. He had short, black locks just long enough to run your fingers through, framing his tan face. His jaw was just as strong as the rest of his body and appeared to always be clinched.

I watched his fingers in envy as they grazed through his hair and he breathed out a heavy sigh. The muscles in his arm contracted as he brought his arm down to his side. God, he was so manly… He was perfect and I was so obviously staring.

His head finally snapped in my direction and I was met with the darkest blues I'd ever seen.

The hair on my arms stood at attention and my heart threw a temper tantrum in my chest as he asked, "So what's so damn interesting that you've been staring at me this whole time?"


First chapter done and out of the way. Haven't done this in awhile! Neeed reviews like a fat girl needs cake. PUH-leaseee. Even if it's just a keep it up, it's really appreciated. Writers need the damn things, haha.