A/N - I'm going to try to balance two stories at one time. We'll see how it works out. The inspiration for the setting of this first chapter is the oneshot "A Place to Call Home" by Requiem in the Night. She is a fabulous writer and an awesome person. Check her out! Thanks, Req.
My skin, still tender, rubbed against a fleece blanket. I took in its softness. I turned and wrapped my body around it, savoring the detergent that smelt so sweet and refreshing. It reminded me of something I never had: warmth and safety. My eyes fluttered open and I took in my surroundings. Darkness. Nothing but blank, deep black. My vision adjusted and I was able to make out a living room. The furniture was expensive looking; leather, white, and from what I felt, smooth. A glass coffee table stood between me and the other side. Faintly, I could make out the dim light overhanging a marble island in what I presumed to be the kitchen.
There was a huge flat screen TV attached to the wall. It was off, but what I noticed right under it was a digital clock. It read 2:47 a.m. Where was I? Panic rose in my stomach. It was overwhelming. I touched my left fingers to my right forearm. The pain of the laceration was unbearable. The images flooded back to me. My mother. The wooden baseball bat. The strikes to my head and the cut of the wooden splinters on my arm. My God, what happened to my head? It was pounding. I brought my hand to my skull. I didn't feel any cracks or crevices, but when I arrived at my forehead, small tendrils of blood leaked onto my skin. I felt small scabs and I had obviously picked at them.
I sat up, looked to my left, and looked to my right. Nobody was there. It was just me. I heard a door close and into the room came a person. A male. He wore long pajama pants that hung off his hips and a white t-shirt that hugged him, showing his muscles. He sat down on the couch. That's when I could make out his blonde hair and shining blue eyes. He appeared about 17, my age. This boy looked oddly familiar. I brought my knees to my chest and scooted into the far corner. I made myself as distant from him as possible. Still, through all of this, I couldn't help but think that he was so familiar to me; like I'd seen him before. "Calm down. There's nothing to be afraid of. I want to help you."
"Who are you?"
"You don't know?" He looked at me disbelievingly. Was I supposed to?
I answered, "No."
"Thank God. Don't freak out when I say this, but my name is Chace Kennedy." That's why he was so familiar. He's an actor. He has won numerous Academy Awards, Oscars, and photogenic awards. Trust me, he's a marvelous actor, but he's one of the biggest tabloid fodders in the world. He's always getting his face in magazines for something, whether it be breakups, hookups, wild nights out, shall I go on? He's never been conceited or self-centered from what I've seen. He's just…camera hungry.
I still didn't know how to respond. After a few seconds of contemplation, I said, "H-how did you find me?" My voice was unsteady.
"I was coming from an outing in downtown San Francisco. You were lying on the sidewalk and I stopped my driver and brought you here. You were all bloodied, bruised, and battered. What happened?"
"I don't want to talk about it." He really was pleasant. Chace spoke with such calmness and concern.
"Okay. I've talked it over with my mother and you're allowed to stay here as long as you'd like. It's probably not the best for you to go back home."
So many questions started going through my mind, and I spit them out in a blur, "I'm 17, how am I going to get to school when the year starts again? I don't have any clothes. What about the press? They'll surely find out about this. I don't even know you."
"You can use my tutor. I can easily buy you clothes. Don't worry about the press, and we can get to know each other. First, what's your name?"
"Do you have a last name?"
"Of course I do. Moore."
"That's a very pretty name. Alicia Moore."
"You're very keen on flattery, aren't you?" I asked. He smiled. I'm telling you, Chace's smile was contagious. His lips were perfectly formed and proportioned. His teeth, my goodness, they lined up so flawlessly. There were even and as white as pearls.
"I am." He continued to smile and it then crossed my mind that I would have to go home. I needed to see my mother. Leaving her like this wouldn't be fair to either of us.
"I have to go home," I blurted.
His face twisted into confusion, "Why?"
"Because I can't leave my mom. Yes she did horrible things to me, but I need to speak to her; to tell her my reasons for leaving."
"I guess that would be okay. But first you need sleep and clothes. Clothes we can work on when we wake up. For now, come with me."
"I am not sleeping with you." I may have over analyzed his implication, but hey, you do crazy things when you're tired.
Chace turned on his heel to face me and started laughing, "Do you really think I would do that?" He raised his brow.
"Yeah," I said.
"You really do know nothing about me. Come on," I continued to follow him down the hallway. The walls were a soft blue and the door frames were white. Most of the doors, which I guessed were bedrooms, had French style doors. Small lamps intermittently lined the walls. It was very mellow, something I needed right then. We stopped just in front of a set of French doors about two-thirds of the way down the hall. "You can stay in the guest room." He opened the door and I walked in. Chace stayed at the threshold. "I'll see you later. Then, we can talk with my mother on how we're going to work this out."
He closed the door as he left and suddenly I was alone. I looked around and couldn't believe this. A beautiful king sized bed with a beige comforter, white sheets, and fluffy pillows sat against a wall. The headboard was dark cherry wood and next to the bed was a night stand with a lamp. The lamp was already lit by inset lights in the ceiling. In front of the bed were two doors. I opened one: a gigantic walk-in.
"Wow," I muttered. I opened the other: a bathroom, a wonderous bathroom. Granite and tile were the main theme. A large tub was off set to the right and from my view, it had Jacuzzi jets. There was a toilet and a separate shower. The sink was…big. A magnificent counter with a perfectly white sink was next to the toilet. A mirror spread from one end of the countertop to the other and below the sink was a cabinet. I couldn't believe my eyes. I went back into the bedroom and turned my head to the window that stretched from wall to wall on the right of the bed. It was covered by white curtains.
I pushed them aside and gaped at the sight. The entire city of Los Angeles was right before me. Lights from the skyscrapers of the metropolitan area shone bright and despite it being 3 a.m., the town was lively. From the view, I could tell that the house was on a hill. It overlooked everything like royalty on its throne. I glanced to my left to see a handle. I grabbed it and pulled the sliding door open. I was too mesmerized by the city to realize that there was a balcony in front of me. I stepped onto it and saw a beach chair that I could imagine myself lying across in the sun, tanning my pale skin. Next to it was an umbrella and table.
I walked over to the black railing and grasped my hands around it. Looking at the city below, a breeze hit, blowing back my dark brown hair. It was hard to take all of this in. I didn't know for how long this would last, but at that moment, I was starting a new life.