Chapter one

*Thunk*

Mitchell's head was slammed into the wall.

The group of boys stood over his slumped form, all of them laughing.

The leader, a seventeen year old skinhead named Josh, smirked down at him.

"C'mon, weak-ass. Get up"

Mitchell groaned and shook his head. Coughing, he grinned suddenly and kicked out at one of the boy's shins. The boy, Lachlan, yelled in surprise and jumped back, gripping his bruised shin.

Mitchell raised himself to a crouch, staring up at the four who were left.

"That's my warning to you. I don't want a fight" he said quietly, loud enough for them to hear him but quiet enough to make him sound meek and defenceless.

Josh frowned, and looked at his friends.

"Ah, but we do want a fight" he said, shoving Mitchell against the wall.

"You hurt our friend. Since you don't have any, we'll hurt you. It's only fair"

Tyson, one of the others, crushed Mitchell's left hand under his pair of black Doc Martin's.

*Crunch*

Mitchell bit back a scream as his hand was broken. Sweat broke out over his forehead and dripped down his face.

He tried to wriggle away, but Josh pinned him to the wall and slapped him across the face.

"IDIOT!" Josh roared, kicking him in the stomach, he groaned and finally Tyson moved his boot off his hand with a smirk.

"You're no fun, weak-ass. C'mon, boys. Let's go" Josh said, punching Mitchell once more before the group sauntered off, probably to harass someone else.

He swallowed, and blinked rapidly.

Everything was sore, every muscle was aching.

Groaning as he stood, Mitchell looked around.

No one was in sight, probably because it was afternoon and those bullies had cornered him after class.

He wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and stared at the trail of blood it left.

"Stupid senseless bas-" he began, but stopped when he saw his phone, lying a scant three meters away.

Surprisingly, it wasn't broken. But that wasn't why he sighed; one new voice message. He could see it from here; his brother Nick had called.

Limping over (his leg hadn't missed out in the bashing) Mitchell picked up his phone and listened to the message:

"Mitchy, bro... I gotta tell ya, you're an idiot. I'm gonna pick you up at four from the school, okay? Awesome, i'll see ya soon"

*Beep beep beep*

He sighed again, louder this time. Obviously, Nick (who had turned twenty the week before) had gotten drunk. Again.

He hoped fervently that Nick wasn't driving to the school.

::::

Mitchell had managed to wash the blood off his face, out of his hair and school uniform by the time Nick showed up.

Luckily, he wasn't drunk; it had been just an act, apparently.

Nick looked nothing like Mitchell, who was average height with dirty blonde hair and ice blue eyes. Nick was tall, six foot, with shaggy dyed dark red hair and dark grey eyes.

The reason behind the difference was that Nick's father was not Mitchell's; their parents had remarried after Claire, the middle child, had been born.

Mitchell hated being the youngest; it frankly sucked, having everybody look down at you.

Nick picked up on Mitchell's brooding mood and laughed, brushing his fringe out of his eyes with an amused grin.

"Aww, Mitchy's feelin' sad?"

"Fuck off, Nick" he said, as he got into the car and slammed the door.

Nick frowned at him, and started the car.

"Again?" he asked, pulling into the long line of cars, leading away from the school.

"Yes, again" Mitch replied, scowling out the window. He felt his brother pat him on the arm comfortingly.

"Eh, they're a bunch of assholes who don't have lives. Don't worry" Nick saidabsentmindedly as he returned his attention to the road.

Mitch did worry; he knew that he didn't fit in, for some reason, the other boys didn't like him. They had been bullying him since the start of middle school. Now, he was in high school, finishing high school actually and nothing had changed; he was still disliked.

He knew they would be back for round two either tomorrow or next week, it was friday tomorrow so they'd probably be staying home.

Sighing, he put in his earphones and relaxed a little, listening to music helped him concentrate and that was what he wanted; to concentrate.

The rest of the drive went smoothly, quietly, for Mitchell.

Nick didn't bother trying to start up a conversation; he knew what Mitchell would say and do. And that wasn't what he wanted right now.

::::

When they pulled up at the house, Nick nearly had to drag him out of the car, Mitchell was in a very bad mood.

"Mitch, come on! We've got a party to go to tonight! It's gonna be fun!" he said to the sulking teen.

Mitch shrugged and pressed pause on his mp3 player.

"Don't care. I don't do parties, remember?"

"Think of all the girls, Mitch! Ah ha! That's what you need; a girlfriend"

"Fuck. Off. I don't need a girlfriend" Mitchell replied slowly, scowling at his brother as they opened the door to the house.

Their family was rich, not seriously high-class rich, but rich enough to own a 'decently sized' house. (meaning it was bigger than your average house)

The boys stepped inside, onto the plush carpet and were almost instantly yelled at.

"TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES! How many times must i tell you to do that?! I just bloody cleaned the carpet!" Their mother yelled, as she peeked around the edge of the wall separating the hallway from the living room.

She sighed as she walked over and studied each of her sons in turn. Her gaze flicked over Nick with a slight grimace at the dyed hair but she moved on to Mitchell, whom she gritted her teeth at.

Reaching up (he was taller than her, at least)

She turned his head and frowned, gently touching a bruise over his right eye.

"Another fight, Mitchell?" she asked, sighing again.

"No, i swe-" Mitchell began but Nick butted in with "He told me everything. It wasn't a fight, it was Josh Helaverkis and his gang"

Their mother's frown deepened and she shook her head, tutting.

"Nickolas, you know that Mitchell is too aggressive. Why are you lying to me, both of you?"

"But, mum, i swear i'm telling the truth" the brothers blurted out at roughly the same time.

"Boys... Go to your rooms. I'll talk to your father, Mitchell. We'll work something out to fix your attitude"

They stood there, stunned by their mother's ignorance, until she yelled for them to go.

Mitchell and Nick trudged upstairs, going to their separate rooms feeling both stupid and confused.

:::::

Dinner had been an awkward occasion; everyone was silent, only the occasional "Pass the sauce, thanks" broke the silence.

Straight after dinner, Mitchell was sent to bed early, due to his 'erratic' behavior and the 'fights'.

He deliberately locked his door and sighed.

'why don't they believe me?' he thought as he walked into his bathroom and put antiseptic cream on a long cut that ran down his left hand, coming out of the edge of the bandage he wore over his broken hand.

It had been fixed up by Claire. His moody older sister had grudgingly agreed to helping him.

But, despite the whinging she had done, it wasn't as painful as before.

Sighing again, he winced when he looked at his broken nose. Claire had fixed that too, but it still looked bad.

It had been a well proportioned nose, straight and nicely shaped. Now, it was slightly wonky and he had some difficulty breathing through his right nostril.

At least it wasn't all bloodied up anymore.

Mitchell ran a hand through his messy, tangled mop of dirty blonde hair and grinned at his reflection, but a yawn reminded him how tired he really was.

He made his way back into his room, picking a pair of pyjamas as he walked past a shelf with three pairs on it.

Putting them on, he climbed into bed, sleep stealing over his mind quickly.

His dreams were bad, as usual.

His mother was in them, laughing as Josh's gang tortured him using some really random techniques.

Mitchell sat up, shaking and breathing heavily, as if he'd run miles.

He wiped the sweat off his forehead and winced when he felt how sore his black eye was.

Looking at a clock, he sighed.

12:30am

'It's way too early to go for a run', he thought laying back down again.

Sleep came to him slower than before, it's dark tendrils curling around his mind, slowly penetrating his senses, dulling them and causing him to yawn, close his eyes and fall into a fitful slumber.

(end of chapter one, what did you guys think? Please review!)